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How Will Faith-Based Adoption Laws Affect Children?

By Jeffrey M. Salassa

adoption request being filled out by a Clinton Township adoption attorney

Every child deserves to have loving and caring parents. Thus, for children who have been orphaned or who have parents that incapable of providing for them, foster care and adoption are terrific options. There are many would-be parents in the Macomb County area desperate to adopt. However, Michigan lawmakers recently introduced controversial legislation that could prevent some of these parents from having that opportunity to adopt.

According to reports, the State House of Representatives passed three bills in March 2015 that could make it possible for faith-based adoption agencies to refuse prospective parents their services solely based on their religious or sexual beliefs. The bills would allow these agencies to deny services to anyone who does not share the agency’s religious beliefs. According to the bills creators, the intent is not to allow agencies the right to discriminate, but the opposition argues that this is exactly what will occur.

One opponent to the bill argues that the legislation will effectively harm children in need of adoption if the State’s foster care system turns away a qualified adoptive-parent because of their religious or sexual beliefs. She cites studies that have shown that same-sex couples are four (4) times more likely to adopt than heterosexual couples and six (6) times more likely to become foster parents. The Vice President of Policy for the National Association of Social Workers in Michigan, shares these concerns and has stated that about 250 LGBT families could be affected by the new adoption bills. However, supporters claim that the bills would not be too far reaching, as they do not apply to private adoption agencies.

The unfortunate reality is that many children in Michigan are in desperate need of a good home with loving parents. That is why whether you are attempting to adopt through a state agency or a private agency, it is always a good idea to have an experienced attorney to help you navigate the process. If you are considering adoption, then please contact the law offices of Iafrate & Salassa to schedule a consultation. Click here to reach us online or call us at (586) 263-1600.

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