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State-Funded Adoption Agencies in Michigan Cannot Discriminate Against LGBTQ Parents

 Posted on June 07, 2019 in Family Law

Oakland County LBGTQ adoption lawyerSame-sex couples looking to adopt a child in Michigan have reason to celebrate. Recently, the state recognized its commitment to federally mandated nondiscriminatory provisions in its foster care and adoption agency contracts. 

In March 2019, the Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel settled a lawsuit by same-sex couples who argued they were turned away as adoption candidates by faith-based adoption centers based on sexual orientation. Now, faith-based adoption agencies that benefit from state funding are no longer allowed to turn away LGBTQ candidates based on religious reasons. Nessel stated that a 2015 law that allowed state-contracted adoption centers to refuse adoptions based on religious premises violates federal anti-discrimination laws.

In accordance with this policy, the Michigan Department of Human Services must abide by federal nondiscriminatory policies in it's foster care and adoption agencies. If adoption centers are not following these federal policies, their funding will be cut.

Nessel defended this decision by arguing that excluding same-sex couples from consideration as adoptive parents was not only discriminatory against the couple, but it also goes against Michigan’s goal of finding a home for every child in need. 

The case was brought by the ACLU, which was representing a lesbian couple that said it got turned away from St. Vincent Catholic Charities because they were homosexual. Since 2015, Catholic adoption centers in Michigan have accounted for 12 percent of the state’s foster care adoption. The Catholic adoption centers argued that under the principle of separation of church and state, they should be able to decide who are eligible to be adoptive families. They further argued that if Catholic adoption agencies’ state funding disappears, the lack of adoption centers would impact thousands of kids.

In contrast with Michigan’s latest policy, Texas, Virginia, South Dakota, North Dakota, Mississippi, Alabama, Oklahoma, and Kansas all passed laws that allow state adoptions to refuse homosexual parents based on personal religious beliefs. 

Contact a Novi, MI LBGTQ Adoption Attorney

We believe that if you can provide a loving and healthy home for a child, you should be eligible to seek adoption. If you are considering becoming an adoptive parent, our qualified Oakland County adoption lawyers will review your case and let you know what problems you could anticipate. Elkouri Heath, PLC gives quality legal services pertaining to family law. Contact us at 248-344-9700 today for a free consultation.




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