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Virginia board rejects gay adoption

by Adam Russett on April 21, 2011

The State Board of Social Services in Virginia voted to allow faith-based adoption agencies to discriminate against gay couples.

The board voted 7 to 2 in its rejection of the proposal that would have allowed gay adoptions among the organizations.

Faith-based adoption groups say that it is against their beliefs to allow gay adoption, and many gay couples will likely contemplate going out of the state to adopt a child, according to the Washington Post.

"[The proposal's] broad language would place an undue and unconstitutional burden on private faith-based child placing agencies by forcing us to compromise our religious beliefs in order to maintain our license to operate," Andrew Brown of the Christian-based group America World Adoption told the news source.

Conversely, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, said that the decision is a let-down for the children waiting to be adopted as well as gay couples eager to become parents.

There are 34 states in the U.S. where adoption by gay couples is not allowed.

Among the states that do allow gay adoption are New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Oregon, according to the Human Rights Campaign website.

There are different laws pertaining to single LGBT individuals seeking adoption, same-sex couples seeking adoption and same-sex partners petitioning to adopt a partner's child.

In Virginia, the laws are such that many gay couples raising a child together only has one partner listed as the child's legal custodian. There are about 6,700 children currently being raised by 3,330 gay couples, according to the news source.

"Today, the State Board of Social Services told the 1,300 children already waiting for a loving, forever home that they’ll have to wait longer," Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign told the news outlet. 

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