HRC Blog

Arizona House Advances Discriminatory Adoption Measure

photo via flickr user robeeena In a move that can only be seen as a setback for children and families, the Arizona House of Representatives advanced by a vote of 35-22 a measure that would take away adoption rights from single and non-married couples. The bill - HB 2148 - would require the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) to override its existing practice of making decisions based on the best interest of the child, and would instead require the DES, and any other organization contracting with the state, to give “primary consideration to placement with a married couple.” Same-sex couples are not able to marry in the state of Arizona. The legislation, which was championed by right-wing groups and legislators, adds yet another obstacle in placing as many children as possible in loving homes. Reputable, non-partisan studies have consistently shown that single parents and non-married parents can be just as effective and nurturing as married parents. Additionally, the U.S. Children’s Bureau found that single women are more likely to adopt minority children and older children from foster care. Now more than ever, we should be expanding adoption opportunities and working to place as many children as possible in loving, supportive homes. Kathy Young, an Arizona parent and a member of HRC’s Board of Governors, expressed her disappointment upon hearing the news: “As a parent, I find it offensive that legislators think they can decide who is best fit to raise a child. These decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis by child care advocates and professionals. All we as Arizonans should care about is that these children are placed into loving, stable homes as quickly as possible.” HRC mobilized our members and supporters in Arizona to contact their representatives and urge a NO vote on HB 2148. Additionally, volunteer members of HRC's Arizona Steering Committee have been in close contact and maintain working relationships with our legislative allies in Phoenix. As this bill now moves over to the Arizona State Senate, we will remain engaged and will continue to urge lawmakers to put aside ideological differences and to stand up for what’s best for the children of Arizona.

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