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Michigan agencies don't welcome all adopting parents

Ask any parent who has been through the process or any parent who has considered going through the process and they will tell you that adoption is certainly not an easy feat. Although, once a family is created, it is clear that the benefits of adoption far outweigh any perceived costs. But the benefit of adoption is not within reach of all Michigan citizens. Some adoption agencies in the state do not allow a gay person to adopt.

Even the agencies that initially are receptive to the idea still tend to be discriminatory in the long run. A person can pass a home inspection and background check and meet all of the adoption requirements of Michigan and yet still be denied.

Certain agencies refute the idea that there is discrimination, stating that they would not turn away people but would not accept someone only if their beliefs were in conflict with the agency's religious beliefs. And a homosexual lifestyle they say is in conflict with their religious beliefs.

Those on the other side of the argument point out that these adoption agencies receive money from the state for their services upwards of $10,000 per child placed in a home. By receiving state money, the agency is working for the state and then the policy of turning away gay people becomes troublesome because it could violate the equal protection rights of Michigan's constitution.

Other agencies may simply avoid the problem by ignoring the applications of gay or lesbians. The lack of response to these applicants is troubling especially because heterosexual applicants do not share in that experience. Unfortunately, by ignoring these applications, many agencies may be missing out on finding wonderful and qualified parents for children who need homes. Over 5,000 children are in the state foster care at any given time.

Although it may not be an easy road, the state clearly needs parents, gay or straight, to reach out and take these children into their homes. If a couple or individual is considering adoption, it may be wise to consult with a Michigan adoption law firm. The firm's knowledge of family law and the adoption process will certainly prove fruitful in the long run.

Source: Michigan Radio, "How adoption agencies discriminate against hopeful LGBT parents," Lester Graham, June 12, 2013

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