Senate Dems introduce legislation to expand adoption rights to LGBT families

LANSING — Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint), and Sens. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) and Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) have introduced legislation to expand adoption rights to all LGBT couples in Michigan.

“LGBT Michiganders encounter enough discrimination, and shouldn’t face additional rejection, humiliation and disappointment when seeking to adopt Michigan’s most vulnerable children,” Sen. Moss said. “We must strike the provisions in state law that say these children are better off as orphans than in loving households.”

Senate Bills 272-275 would prevent adoption agencies from discriminating based on sexual orientation. This legislation would expand on Attorney General Dana Nessel’s recent court settlement to ban state-contracted agencies from barring LGBT adoptions

“There should be no discriminatory litmus test for what a happy, healthy family can look like in our state,” Sen. Ananich said. “If our bills help just one more child find their forever family and a loving home, we will have succeeded.”

The legislation would:

“Second-parent adoption is necessary in Michigan because children should have a right to secure legal relationships to both parents when it comes to custody, financial support, hospital visitation, school decisions, and more,” Sen. Irwin said. “Michigan’s second-parent adoption ban unfairly discriminates against a specific group of people: Unmarried couples and their children. My bill will help children and families because it will ensure that the best interests of the child — not discrimination — is what guides a judge’s decision on adoption.”

The adoption bills are especially necessary to provide clarity in Michigan law as acceptable, deserving couples face further barriers to raising a family of their own, as evidenced by a recent lawsuit from a D.C.-based firm.

“Every kid in Michigan deserves to grow up in a home where they are cared for and have the opportunity to thrive, period,” Sen. Polehanki said. “Sexual orientation has no place or relevance in decisions about whether a couple can provide a good, supportive home for a child.”

Identical bills were introduced in the House by Reps. Tim Sneller (D-Burton), Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo), Kristy Pagan (D-Canton), and Julie Brixie (D-Meridian Township).

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