There has long been debate over LGBT rights within the United States. June of this year marked a groundbreaking ruling, as gay couples were given the right to marry freely throughout the United States. Most heterosexual relationships include love, marriage, and then babies. There are millions of homosexual couples looking to create their own family through means of surrogacy, insemination, or adoption. However, it seems many states have conflicting ideas as to who should be able to adopt a child in the foster care system. The state of Arizona actually gives preference to a married man and woman, over any other couple, sparking debate.
Children in the foster care system
It goes without saying, every child in the United States deserves a loving family, who will provide a safe environment and a permanent place to live. There is still a high number of children who spend a large majority of their life in temporary care, such as foster care. For whatever reason, these children are unable to return to their original families, but have trouble finding a new, permanent family to live with. There are people who act as foster parents to these children, but do not provide the child with a permanent solution, like adoption. There has been a growth in the LGBT community, regarding adoption of these children. With so many children needing to be adopted, and the expanding number of candidates, we would think that that sexual preference would not play a factor in choosing prospective parents.
Policies and Practices in the United States
Each state has their own policy when it comes to adoption practices. Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan signed three bills into law, stating that adoption or child placement agencies can refuse to serve prospective parents, including same sex couples, by claiming placing children in a particular home would violate their religious convictions. Michigan is not the only state to display discrimination when it comes to adoption practices. The state of Arizona requires that preference be given to a married man and woman, for any foster or adoptive placements.
Reasons for the continued discrimination
Proponents of the “man and woman” adoptive policy claim that it is not an issue of homophobia, but rather an issue of parenting benefits, which they say come from a mother and a father. There have been several groups advocating for LGBT rights when it comes to family adoption. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Association of Family Physicians, the National Association of Social Workers, and the Child Welfare League of America have all claimed that LGBT couples do not put kids at risk, and adoption should be based on which family can provide a loving and successful home for a child who needs it.
It is the sad truth that some states give preference to heterosexual couples, when there are too many children in need of a permanent home life. There is no state that can actually prevent LGBT couples from becoming parents, but living in certain states with these policies makes the process a lot harder. Instead of giving preference to heterosexual couples, the state of Arizona should increase the pool of prospective parents, and allow all children the opportunity at a stable and loving home life. If there were far less children moving from foster home to foster home there would be a higher amount of kids graduating from the state and decrease the amount of citizens in Arizona living in poverty and in need of loans.