Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Adoption ban bill in the news

Janell Ross of the Tennessean looks at the battle over SB 0078 that would prohibit anyone who is unmarried and cohabiting from adopting children:

If the bill were passed, the department estimates, children would probably spend an average of an additional 180 days — about six months — in state care, [Depart of Children's Service Executive Director of the office of child permanency Elizabeth] Black said.

As of the end of January, 7,184 children were in some type of state care or supervision.

Of those, 330 were available for adoption with no suitable family found. Some of these children have been in state custody for three or four years.

The Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth voted last week not to support the legislative effort to prohibit unmarried couples from adopting.

“We don’t live in an ideal world,” said Linda O’Neal, executive director of the commission.

“In some cases, having two committed adults who can provide financial and other types of stability, that situation may be better.”

Those are really the issues stated as concisely as possible. They summarize the wait for the child and the expense for the state. It's important to remember that the 180 days is an average. What that really means is that some children wait years and some never get adopted. When they become 18, they're pretty much on their own without much help or guidance.

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