MONTGOMERY— Today, two leading child welfare organizations, the Donaldson Adoption Institute (DAI) and Voice for Adoption (VFA), blasted Alabama’s H.B. 296, which would empower adoption agencies to discriminate against eligible parents and guardians. If passed, the discriminatory piece of legislation will deny countless children from accessing caring homes. Even more disheartening, the bill would prevent eligible interfaith couples, same-sex couples, and couples where one individual was previously divorced the opportunity to care for a child in need.
“We urge you to examine the research that demonstrates if we truly wish to act in good conscience towards children waiting for permanent families, we must not exclude qualified and eager prospective foster and adoptive parents,” the letter states. “Legalizing such discrimination, on the other hand, will undermine the safety and well-being of Alabama’s children.”
“This is taxpayer-funded discrimination as many of the state’s private adoption agencies have large public contracts,” said HRC Alabama director Patricia Todd. “We call on the House of Representatives to choose equality over discrimination, and abandon this bill aimed at hurting Alabamians who wish to provide caring homes for children.”
If passed, this bill would allow private child placement agencies acting in lieu of the state to discriminate on the basis of gender, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity and family status. For instance:
o Agencies could prefer single women over single men.
o Agencies could prohibit interfaith couples from adopting.
o Agencies could prefer couples or individuals who adhere to the faith of the agency‘s religious entity or refuse service to individuals of certain faiths altogether.
HRC Alabama is working to advance equality for LGBT Alabamians who have no statewide protections in housing, workplace, or public accommodations; and legal state recognition for their relationships and families. Through HRC Alabama, we are working toward a future of fairness every day—changing hearts, minds and laws toward achieving full equality.
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