HRC Joins Del. Adam Ebbin, Arlington County Board Member Jay Fisette, Equality Virginia, Virginia Home for Boys and Girls, Adoptions Together, and Adoptive Parents for Press Conferences in Alexandria and Richmond Calling on Governor to Do the Right Thing
Washington - The Human Rights Campaign - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization - joins Virginia Delegate Adam Ebbin, Arlington County Board Member Jay Fisette, Equality Virginia, Adoptions Together, Virginia Home for Boys and Girls, and Northern Virginia lesbian and gay adoptive parents to ask Governor McDonnell and the State Board of Social Services to put the best interest of Virginia's children first by eliminating discrimination in the adoption process. There are currently over one thousand children in Virginia's foster care system waiting to be adopted into a loving forever home. Barring discrimination could open hundreds of loving homes to Virginia's children.
Current Virginia law allows for discrimination based on sexual orientation in private adoption agencies licensed by the state. Additionally, unmarried couples can be denied the ability to provide a loving home to a child and the state cannot provide any relationship recognition for same-sex couples as a result of a state constitutional amendment. Proposed regulations in front of the State Board of Social Services, if enacted, would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation but not marital status. Governor McDonnell has said he opposes the proposed regulations. HRC and partners call on the governor to recommend, and members of the State Board of Social Services to enact, these regulations, and go further by proposing a law that makes the best interest of the child the sole basis for adoption, not whether someone is gay or whether two caring adults are married.
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.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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