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.

Monday, November 2, 2009

State adoption bans are on the federal government's radar

November is National Adoption Month, and President Obama used part of his proclamation to urge equality in adoption laws so that more children can find good homes:

"America is a country rich in resources and filled with countless caring men and women who hope to adopt. These individuals come from all walks of life, united in their commitment to love a child who is in need of the protective arms of a parent. We must do more to ensure that adoption is a viable option for them. By continually opening up the doors to adoption, and supporting full equality in adoption laws for all American families, we allow more children to find the permanent homes they yearn for and deserve."

Perhaps to outsiders the language is vague. But those of us fighting adoption bans at the state level know exactly what the President is talking about. Our only questions concern what can be done and when. A partial answer comes in Congressman Pete Stark's bill to cut off funds to states and entities that discriminate in their adoption laws. The President seems to be sending a signal that he would support a bill like Stark's, but nothing is concrete at this point.

Since Tennessee has not passed discriminatory adoption legislation, despite the fact that it has been introduced many times, we have nothing to worry about. Hopefully, the federal bill will give the Tennessee General Assembly pause as it considers SB 0078 in 2010.



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