Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Here's a really interesting opinion article from today's Detroit Free Press, written by Brian Dickerson:  It's about two bills that have been proposed in Michigan that would, according to Dickerson, "license faith-based adoption agencies to discriminate against gays seeking to adopt hard-to-place foster children."  Here's a long quote:

Jeanne Howard, a former member of the state of Illinois’ adoption advisory board and codirector of the Center for Adoption Studies at Illinois State University, says discouraging gays who seek to adopt or become foster parents would strand many hard-to-place children with no families at all.
“I’m not approaching this from an equal protection or parental advocacy perspective. I’m approaching it from the perspective of what children need,” Howard told me. “I know opponents of gay adoption think they’re protecting kids by not allowing them to be raised in such a family. But a lot of these kids have no family.”
For three decades, Howard notes, studies comparing children raised by straight parents with those raised by gay or lesbian parents have discovered no differences in psychological adjustment, gender identification, academic achievement or self-esteem. Other research suggests that gay and lesbian parents are disproportionately open to adopting the older and special-needs children who are hardest to place.
“We want to have every break go in favor of the kids who need help,” Howard said. “When you create obstacles that limit the supply of adoptive parents,” Howard said, “you are abandoning some of the most fragile children in Michigan to the vagaries of an overburdened foster care system.”

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