Senate Bill 1188 Puts Discrimination Ahead of Children in the Adoption Process
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation's largest civil rights organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, condemned Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and the Republican leadership in the state legislature for passing and signing into law SB 1188, which gives preference to married couples in the adoption process - at the exclusion of same-sex couples and single adults who wish to provide a loving home to children. The bill applies to public and private adoption agencies.
"Arizona's children and youth suffered a major defeat when this discriminatory bill was signed into law," said HRC Family Project Director Ellen Kahn. "At a time when far too many children are in need of a loving forever home, this new law limits the number of families available to them. Child welfare experts agree that adoptive parents should be judged by their character and their ability to raise a child, not on their marital status or sexual orientation. It's shameful that politics trumps the needs of children. In Arizona, approximately one-third of qualified adults adopting from foster care are single parents."
The Child Welfare League of America, the nation's oldest and largest child welfare organization, opposes restrictions on adoption and believes that applicants should be assessed on their ability to parent a child, not on their marital status or sexual orientation. The North American Council on Adoptable Children opposes laws and legislation that restrict the consideration of prospective foster and adoptive parents based on their sexual orientation.
Kahn, a professional social worker, added: "Arizona's children deserve better. We must do everything possible to remove barriers to permanent families, and Governor Brewer just built a new wall. Years of research, public opinion, and the child welfare profession conclude that these discriminatory laws are not in the best interest of the children. They simply delay or deny access to stable, loving homes and force kids to languish in the foster care system."
A map detailing adoption laws across the country is available at www.hrc.org/documents/parenting-laws-maps.pdf.
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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