Family Law Attorney Joshua Law Remarks On Bill to Ease Adoption By Same-Sex Couples
Brandon, FL (Law Firm Newswire) August 27, 2013 – Legislation intended to lower barriers to adoption by same-sex couples was recently reintroduced in the U.S. Congress.
Many states have some kind of restriction or outright ban on adoption by same-sex couples. Under the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDFA), federal funds could be cut off from foster and adoption agencies that discriminate in that way.
“Supporters of the law say children are better off in a permanent home, whether with same-sex or opposite-sex parents, than they are as wards of the state,” commented Brandon family lawyer Joshua Law. “This legislation could mean big changes in a lot of children’s lives.”
ECDFA would allow the Health and Human Services (HHS) to withhold funding from public child welfare agencies that discriminate against potential parents and/or against children based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Current law prohibits discrimination based on race and religion only.
Earlier this summer, the bill was introduced with bipartisan support in the House of Representatives by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand sponsored it in the Senate. Gillibrand teamed up with Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) to introduce the bill in a previous session of Congress, but Stark is no longer a Representative.
The bill would require HHS to provide assistance to affected agencies by detailing the changes they must make in order to maintain funding. It would also allow individuals who allege discrimination on the part of an agency to file for a judicial hearing.
According to the Family Equality Council, LGBT individuals face barriers to adoption or fostering in 39 states. Meanwhile, many medical and professional associations have taken stances against such laws. The American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the National Adoption Center, and the American Bar Association all support foster parenting and adoption by qualified gay, lesbian, and unmarried parents, according to advocacy group Human Rights Campaign.
“The acceptance of LGBT couples as capable parents is becoming more widespread,” added Law.
Legislation tracking website GovTrack.us estimates the legislation has just a one percent chance of being enacted.
“This session of Congress may not pass this bill, but I think the momentum behind same-sex family rights shows it’s only a matter of time,” Law predicted.
Osenton Law Office, PA
500 Lithia Pinecrest Road
Brandon, Florida 33511
Call: (813) 654-5777
- Tampa Recognized for Gay Rights Protections; Lawmakers and Advocates Hope to Further the Cause
A human rights group recently recognized Tampa as top in the state in its support of the LGBT community. Meanwhile, gay rights advocates hope to advance their cause statewide, and state lawmakers have a slate of civil rights bills planned for the 2014 legislative session. Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights advocacy group, recently released [...]
- If Affordable Care Act Lives Up To Its Name, Divorce Rate May Rise
Financial insecurity keeps many couples from seeking divorce long after they lose hope for their relationship. They simply cannot afford to go it alone. Because the cost of health care has risen steeply in recent years, their coverage often weighs heavily on such decisions. A recent article on the Washington Times Communities website suggests that [...]
- Child Custody Issues When Ending Same-Sex Relationships
If you are in a same-sex relationship and have children, and your relationship is coming to an end, you may face some tough challenges. The law in most states, including Florida, does not treat same-sex and opposite-sex couples the same, and laws governing same-sex family law are in constant flux. The first thing to know [...]