HRC Blog

Virginia’s Anti-Gay Adoption Bill Passes State Senate

FamilyThe following post comes from HRC Digital Media Intern Eric Cameron:

Virginia’s anti-gay adoption bill passed through the Senate yesterday by a vote of 22-18. As reported, the bill allows private adoption and foster care agencies to deny child placement based on religious or moral beliefs. Supporters claim to be protecting religious freedom, but many opponents see the bill as a thinly-veiled effort to prevent LGBT people from adopting.

“This bill authorizes every one of the 80 private adoption agencies licensed in Virginia to refuse to offer their services to any GLBT person based on a written moral policy, which they can make up tomorrow,” says State Senator Adam Ebbin. “The bill says they can do that no matter how qualified the prospective mom and dad is to become a parent.”

Virginia law already prohibits the placement of children with unmarried couples, gay or straight. Single parent gay households and gay foster parents are still eligible to receive children under Virginia law, but Ebbin and others worry that the bill -- which Gov. Robert McDonnell is expected to sign -- is one more step along an exclusionary road.

“I’m sure that next year or soon thereafter we’ll be addressing a bill that seeks to directly do what this bill does do indirectly,” says Ebbin, “and that is to achieve the ultimate goal to ban foster care and adoption by GLBT people completely.”

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