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Will Congress follow Massachusetts in same-sex partner adoption?

There have been huge gains made in the civil rights movement in the last 100 years. Knowing this, it is difficult to conceive that some people are still being discriminated against in modern times. Same-sex couples are still seeking equality. However, a bill soon to be presented to Congress will take a step in the right direction by banning discrimination in adoptions based on sexual orientation. While some states, such as Massachusetts, have laws allowing same-sex partner adoption, 39 states do not have laws that ban discrimination against the LGBT population.

Democratic lawmakers have taken a lead on a bill, called Every Child Deserves a Family Act, that would help same-sex couples adopt and become foster parents. The bill would exclude organizations that will not allow people to become an adoptive or foster family based on their sexual orientation from receiving financial support from the federal government. The bill has previously been introduced and failed.

Its major proponent is hopeful that the bill will pass with the help of bipartisan cooperation. It already has support from a bipartisan pair in the House. Proponents of the bill argue that there are over 400,000 children in foster care, many available for adoption, that could benefit from the bill. They argue that both the children and prospective parents are being harmed by this form of discrimination.

This is an exciting time for the LGBT movement. As more and more states pass laws allowing same-sex marriage, this bill could go a long way for those interested in same-sex partner adoption as well as those wish to provide loving, safe homes for children in the foster care system. While Massachusetts seems to be progressive in the equal rights movement, other states are slowly beginning to follow the precedent it has established in treating all people equally.

Source: Huffington Post, “Gay Adoption Bill Set To Be Reintroduced With Bipartisan Support,” Amanda Terkel, May 6, 2013

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