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Bill to end discrimination against adoptive parents based on LGBT and marital status to be introduced in Congress

Adoption LGBT Legal Cases Marriage equality

By Scottie Thomaston


Today, a bipartisan group of Senators and Congresspeople are introducing a bill to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status in adoption and foster care. The effort to pass the “Every Child Deserves a Family” Act will be led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). A press conference will be held today with families led by same-sex couples.

The bill would restrict federal funding to discriminating states, and help open the homes of “more than 2,000,000” LGBT families to adopted and foster children. The Family Equality Council points out that state adoption laws are generally unclear, and most have no non-discrimination policy spelled out, leaving lots of uncertainty. They also point out that the bill is supported by medical and civil rights organizations:

Professional associations in the fields of child welfare, medicine, psychology and public health, and civil rights advocates have taken official positions in support of the ability of qualified LGBT and unmarried couples to foster and adopt. Among these organizations are the Child Welfare League of America, the National Association of Social Workers, North American Council on Adoptable Children, American Psychological Association, American Medical Association, and American Academy of Pediatrics. A broad coalition of faith groups supports the Ever Child Deserves a Family Act.

Amanda Terkel, writing in the Huffington Post, suggests that recent developments are seen as a positive sign for the bill. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in two marriage cases in late March (a decision is expected in late June) and indeed even some of the Justices referenced the children who are currently being raised by same-sex couples in California. (Justice Kennedy suggested that those voices are important in the Prop 8 case.) And some Republicans are changing their minds on some LGBT issues: Senator Rob Portman recently announced he’s in favor of marriage equality, and Rep. Paul Ryan has suggested he no longer opposes adoption by same-sex couples.

A press release from Senator Gillibrand’s office says the bill will impact hundreds of thousands of children:

[…]Nationwide, there are an estimated 400,000 children in the U.S. foster care system, and there are more than 104,000 children currently waiting to be adopted, including 6,400 in New York. LGBT couples or individuals who want to adopt or become foster parents still face discrimination in more than 30 states.

At the press conference tomorrow, “Congress Members will be joined by Mary Keane and her daughter Anni from New York, Philip McAdoo, Sean Cavanaugh and their son Zaden from Atlanta, and Martin Gill and his sons from Miami to tell their stories.”


  • 1. Michael  |  March 28, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Useful information shared on topic Bill to end discrimination against adoptive parents based on LGBT and marital status to be introduced in Congress..I am very happy to read this article..Thanks for giving us nice info. Fantastic walk-through. I appreciate this post.

  • 2. Rose  |  March 28, 2014 at 6:33 am

    My question is this….Has this bill been passed yet? This was started in May of 2013!

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