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Bill could change adoption laws in Louisiana

In our last blog, we discussed a situation where a gay New York couple adopted a child from Louisiana. When acquiring a Louisiana birth certificate for their child, the state refused to list both men as parents, because Louisiana does not recognize gay marriage nor are gay couples eligible to adopt a child in the state.

A new piece of legislation might ensure this situation does not arise again.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said she plans to introduce what is called the "Every Child Deserves a Family Act" to the United States Senate. The bill aims to strike down all the laws, policies and practices in states that deem individuals ineligible of being adoptive or foster parents based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The senator claims that currently 30 states in the country discriminate against LGBT couples who want to adopt or become foster parents. Nationally, there are 400,000 children in foster care and 107,000 waiting to be adopted. These are children that could potentially be cared for by capable same-sex parents, argue those lobbying for the bill. An estimated two million same-sex couples in the United States are willing to adopt, but cannot.

Five states outright prohibit same-sex couples from adopting, one of them being Louisiana. Others have more specific procedural stipulations, while for other states this issue is a giant gray area.

The U.S. House of Representatives saw a similar version of this bill after it was introduced by Pete Stark, a democratic representative from California.

Adoption is sure to become a hot button issue as November serves as National Adoption Month.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to introduce 'Every Child Deserves A Family Act' (ECDF) LGBT Adoption Bill in U.S. Senate," Oct. 28, 2011

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