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Virginia Adoption Push Rings Hollow After Restricted Rights Legislation

Governor Bob McDonnell, by Gage Skidmore

Governor Bob McDonnell, by Gage Skidmore

Virginia is one of those states that is adamant about preventing lesbians and gays from adopting children. Last year, they restricted LGBT adoption avenues, and this makes the announcement by Governor Bob McDonnell kind of hollow. Governor McDonnell recently announced his “Campaign for 1000″, which aims to find 1000 adults to adopt young people.

Last year, McDonnell helped to close the door on LGBT adoption rights in the state.

Emily Hecht-McGowan, the public policy director for the Family Equality Council, stated that
“I would say this is a joke, but nobody is laughing. Virginia is the worst in the country in placing children out of foster care. For the Governor to launch this campaign little more than a year after locking thousands of doors to Virginia’s foster youth is outlandish.”

McDonnell stated about the proect that “Every child deserves the security and love that a family provides.”

James Parrish, the executive director of Equality Virginia, said “We agree with Governor McDonnell. However his administration’s actions have continually put the special interests of certain agencies ahead of the best interests of all children in need of a loving family in Virginia. Denying willing families makes no sense when the state itself admits it has more than 4,000 children in the foster care system.”

Last year, Governor McDonnell signed into law a bill that reduced the number of families that were available to adopt by signing a so-called “conscience clause” that allowed adoption agencies to refuse placements with any families based upon religious or moral beliefs. The move only exacerbated the fact that Virginia has one of the lowest rates of public agency adoption in the nation.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) introduced the Every Child Deserves A Family Act which would strip federal funding for any adoption agency that discriminates in placing children based upon the prospective family’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

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