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Tennessee senator withdraws bill meant to limit LGBTQ adoption

The sponsor of a Senate bill that would have let faith-based adoption agencies deny adoption applications from LGBTQ people has asked that it be removed from the legislative agenda. This action delays consideration of the bill until at least next year. No explanation accompanied the removal of the bill, but pressure from national groups that oppose discrimination against LGBTQ people appears to have suppressed this proposed legislation.

Amazon along with other large companies had openly stated that the state should not pass laws that negatively targeted LGBTQ people. The leadership of the Tennessee Titans worried that new discriminatory laws would tarnish the state's image and prevent Nashville from being selected to host an NFL Draft event. Superstar entertainer Taylor Swift donated $113,000 to an organization that fights for equality.

Opponents of the legislation expressed concerns that the law would enable religious organizations to prevent LGBTQ people, single people or non-Christians from adopting children. Supporters claimed that they wanted to protect faith-based adoption agencies from lawsuits.

A person or couple wishing to adopt a child might gain a clearer understanding of legal issues by consulting a family law attorney. The adoption of a blood-relative child or stepchild might require the formal termination of a biological parent's parental rights. Bringing an outside child into a family could involve the development of an adoption agreement that may or may not include access for a biological parent. An attorney might be able to work through the details with an adoptive parent and develop a clear agreement that protects privacy and wishes of both sides. Interactions with an adoption agency may also benefit from the presence of an attorney, who could act to defend violations of rights.

Source: NBC News, "Tennessee spikes bill allowing LGBTQ adoption refusals", May 1, 2019

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