Tennessee was one of several states that passed anti-LGBT adoption laws or introduced bills into legislation in March 2017. Georgia, Alabama and South Dakota were among other states that also took action on this issue. In Alabama, a bill passed in the House 60-14 on March 16. The bill would allow foster care and adoption agencies to deny foster or adoptive parents if it conflicted with their religious beliefs.
South Dakota’s bill had similar language relating to an agency’s refusal to work with same-sex couples or others in the LGBT community It also stipulated that agencies couldn’t be retaliated against by the government for their refusal to work with such couples or individuals. While the laws may have the effect of discriminating against those in the LGBT community, it also prevents a child from finding a loving home.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are over 400,000 children in foster care. Considering that many members of the LGBT community could be good parents, it may be worthwhile for individuals to contact their representatives to push for changes to the law. In fact, those who have representatives who are supportive of LGBT rights may want to contact their representatives to show how important it is to them.
In cases like these, the top priority of the court is to ensure the best interest of the child are met. Therefore, the child should be placed in the care of anyone who is able to provide a safe and stable home. In some cases, that may mean returning the child to a biological parent or family member. Those who feel as if they have been discriminated against in their quest to adopt or foster a child may wish to talk with legal counsel.