The Push To Allow Same-Sex Adoption In Every State

May 18, 2015 at 2:44 PM ET

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is behind a push to ensure that same-sex couples aren’t discriminated against when it comes to adoption. The senator will introduce the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which seeks to prohibit federally funded adoption agencies from disqualifying prospective parents “on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identification, or marital status.”

The Human Rights Campaign reports that there are more than 104,000 children in the foster care system who are eligible for adoption. The legislation would remove barriers for the estimated two million LGBT individuals who want to adopt.

“It will mean that more kids will be fostered through the foster care system and more children in need of adoption will be adopted and it will help those children reach their full potential,” said Gillibrand.

All states allow individuals to adopt, regardless of their sexual orientation. However, state laws regarding adoption by same-sex couples can be murky.

“Only seven states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in adoption, and only five explicitly ban discrimination in foster care,” explains Liz Halloran of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. “Louisiana, Mississippi and Michigan prohibit same-sex couples from jointly adopting, and Nebraska, Ohio, Kentucky and Kansas restrict same-sex couples from accessing second-parent adoption. A majority of states are silent on the issue of LGBT foster care, therefore providing no protections for men and women who want to provide homes for children.”

The proposed bill, which has the support of institutions including The American Psychological Association, the National Adoption Center, and the Child Welfare League of America, was first introduced—without success—in 2013.

Read More:

Gillibrand Announces LGBT Adoption Legislation (NY1)
Every Child Deserves a Family Act (Human Rights Campaign)