COLUMN: Honoring LGBT adoption

The Supreme Court recently voted unanimously that states have to honor adoptions by gay parents that move across state lines, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Alabama Supreme Court had previously denied one of the plaintiffs in the case parental rights after her partner had denied her former spouse the right to visit the children, wrote David Savage of the LA Times.

I support the Court’s decision, but it does raise questions about policies regarding gay families in the United States.

According to the Guardian, more than half of the states in the country allow both partners in a same-sex relationship to obtain parental rights.

But far fewer states protect the rights of same-sex couples who are foster parents. The Family Equality Council claimed that only seven states nationally restrict discrimination based on LGBT foster parent status, for example.

It’s clear more needs to be done to ensure that same-sex couples are treated fairly under the law.

The United States Congress could create a bill to ban discrimination based on whether or not parents are LGBT individuals, and could ensure the process to adopt children for LGBT parents is much easier in the United States.

This is an issue that affects many LGBT people and children. Lifelong Adoptions, an organization that supports LGBT adoption efforts nationwide, stated on its website that gay and lesbian parents are raising four percent of all adopted children in the United States.

While this statistic may not sound like much, it matters to the families who are caring for these children, who may never have otherwise gotten a home.

It’s doubtful that, in the current environment of the U.S. Congress, which is deeply divided and besieged by partisanship, a bill of this nature protecting LGBT families will be passed, let alone called to a vote on the floor of the Capitol. But our federal government must step in and do more to aid LGBT families if the states aren’t willing to do it themselves.

People like Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz say that states alone are responsible for handling LGBT adoption cases. According to the news source Talking Points Memo, at last Thursday’s GOP debate in Detroit, Cruz said he “would leave the question of adoption to the state” when asked about whether or not a gay couple should have adoption rights.

If that is the view that a majority of the politicians in Washington hold towards this issue, it will be difficult to see when national conversation and action for LGBT families will take place in the near future unfortunately.

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