Faupel Musser Love, P.C.

A Detroit judge upholds an adoption discrimination case

On Sept. 14, a Detroit judge decided against dismissing an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit that had been filed in federal court earlier this year. In the plaintiff's filing, they allege that Michigan's public child welfare purposely discriminates against those involved in same-sex relationships and individuals on religious grounds.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs had previously petitioned the judge in the case to bar state officials from publicly funding or contracting with private placement agencies that were against placing foster or adopted children with same-sex couples. They'd also petitioned him to order that state-funded placement agencies treat homosexuals and heterosexuals equally.

The ACLU became involved after it was brought to their attention that two lesbian couples had both attempted to adopt a child but were denied the opportunity to do so by a state-contracted facility. That agency reportedly cited religion and their objection to the couples' sexual preferences as the reasons for denying them a child.

Attorneys for the defendants including the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, St. Vincent Catholic Charities and the Children's Services Agency defended their practices. They argued that a law that was passed in the state in 2015 allows them to deny adoptions on religious grounds. They noted that the plaintiffs had other agencies they could have adopted a child through.

In entering his ruling, the judge noted that he agreed with the plaintiffs' contention that the existing screening practices of some of these agencies adversely impacted some Michigan families from being able to adopt.

A member of St. Vincent's legal team responded that their goal in fighting the lawsuit is to ensure that more Michigan children have an ability to be adopted into loving homes.

There are tens if not hundreds of thousands of children across the United States looking for a loving home to call their own. Adoption is a selfless act. Those individuals who want to move forward with it should be encouraged, not deterred. An Ann Arbor adoption attorney can ensure that your rights as an adoptive parent are protected.

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