What are the Laws Against LGBT Discrimination When it Comes to Adoption?
Although there’s nothing more important than family, a number of lawmakers over the years have done everything in their power to impose LGBT adoption discrimination laws. With the vast number of children who need homes, it seems so unreasonable to discriminate against such a strong community.
While there are some laws that pose concern for the LGBT couples that would like to adopt, we’ve come a long way in recent years. Also, working with an LGBT-friendly adoption attorney in Texas can help.
1977 Homosexual Ban on Adoption and the 2015 Repeal
Although there weren’t outright similar laws in Texas, a 1977 Florida statute banned homosexual couples from adopting. Many other states during the time decided that they would quietly deny homosexual couples the right to adopt. Then in the mid-2000s, it became quite clear that this was discrimination against not only homosexual couples but the entire LGBT community.
Currently, these bans exist in only two states, and many states have stayed neutral, not speaking out on either side of the spectrum. That’s where Texas is now. There’s nothing saying that the LGBT community can’t adopt, but also there’s nothing telling agencies that they have to work with them.
It seemed like the 2015 Supreme Court decision that the Florida ban was unconstitutional would provide a widespread blanket of protection. That was not the case.
New State Law for Adoption Agencies
Recently the LGBT scape within Texas on the subject of adoption has changed dramatically. In a step away from what most states are doing, Texas has allowed a bill to pass, which indirectly discriminates against LGBT adoptions.
Essentially this bill or the “Freedom to Serve Children Act” allows the agency to determine if their values align properly. It has put the state in a rough spot where the LGBT community should not be discriminated against, but also, these agencies are often religious organizations, and the State shouldn’t restrict their business operations. This bill, however, is clearly not the answer.
It’s More About a Lack of Laws
As mentioned, Texas allows same-sex couples to petition to adopt and allows individuals to adopt regardless of their sexuality. But it always comes down to what is best for the child, which means that an agency could decide or the state could decide that the LGBT community wasn’t a good environment for the child. Then, deny the adoption.
However, these same-sex couples can pursue these cases further when it comes to discrimination. Clear discrimination is something that you can pursue further in the courts, as was the case with the Florida statute and similar occurrences in many other states.
Adoption Lawyers in Houston Can Give More Support During LGBT Adoption Discrimination
If you’re facing discrimination, then you can speak with an attorney. Although you always have options to face the discrimination head-on through a civil trial, it may be more beneficial for your family to use a family lawyer and find an LGBT friendly adoption agency. There’s nothing that requires an agency to work with any particular couple, but LGBT friendly attorneys can often get you in touch with the agencies that don’t weigh those unnecessary factors in trying to find a child a home.
Always consult with a Houston adoption attorney to discuss your options after facing adoption discrimination. You’re clearly trying to do something wonderful by expanding your family and trying to give a child a good home. The state should by no means restrict you from that plan.
Should You Go Through an Agency or Get an LGBT-Friendly Houston Adoption Lawyer
It’s almost always necessary for partners to go through an agency unless they’ve found someone privately who’s willing to let the couple adopt their child. Those situations can happen within a family but are not exceptionally common. If you need to do everything from finding your future child to finalizing it in court, then you may have to go through an agency, and in Texas, that can be hard to do as an LGBT couple.
However, when you involve a LGBTQ-friendly adoption law firm in Houston, they can navigate you toward adoption agencies that work with same-sex couples. Or navigate the sticky situation of working with an agency that may have different world-views than you and your partner. Discrimination based on LGBT factors is not outright illegal, but a number of behaviors associated with it can cause legal trouble for the agency, which is why employing a lawyer can lead them to be more compliant with your needs. Eddington Worley is a Houston law office that provides adoption support and guidance for LGBT families.
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