HRC Calls on Gov. McDonnell to Support Virginia's Children in Full-Page Ad

by HRC Staff

Ad in tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch urges Gov. McDonnell to support regulations allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

Washington - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality - will call on Governor Bob McDonnell, in a full-page ad in tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch, to support regulations proposed by former Governor Tim Kaine that would prevent child welfare agencies from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation, marital status, or religion in the adoption process. There are currently over one thousand children in the Virginia foster care system waiting to be adopted into a permanent loving home. The proposed regulations would open up hundreds, if not thousands of loving, permanent homes for these children. Governor McDonnell recently told reporters he opposes the regulations, but has until April 16 to make his formal recommendation to the State Board of Social Services.

"This is about children, not about politics," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Thousands of children could finally find their forever families and have the opportunity for a happy, healthy life if these regulations are enacted. We ask the governor to think about the children and we hope the State Board of Social Services is ultimately guided by the best practices established by the child welfare profession, and not by discriminatory motivations that create barriers to permanent families for Virginia's children."

The nation's leading child welfare organizations support adoption by gay and lesbian parents. The American Academy of Pediatrics, an organization dedicated to the health and well-being of children, supports legislation that allows both partners in a same-sex couple to jointly adopt children. The American Psychological Association supports initiatives which allow same-sex couples to adopt and co-parent children and supports all the associated legal rights, benefits, and responsibilities which arise from such initiatives.

Other adoption and child welfare professionals in Virginia and across the country agree:

"We have had to turn away many qualified same-sex couples in Virginia who want to adopt and who could be wonderful resources for children who need families---we hope to see this policy recommendation move forward." Janice Goldwater, Executive Director, Adoptions Together.

"We need to open the doors for every qualified family to pursue adoption-that is the role of child welfare professionals, and we hope that the Virginia Board of Social Services will join with us." Joe Kroll, North American Council on Adoptable Children.

Preview the full-page ad that will appear in tomorrow's Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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