Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Social Services
State Board of Social Services
Minimum Standards for Licensed Private Child-Placing Agencies [22 VAC 40 ‑ 131]
Action Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 4/1/2011
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3/31/11  6:14 pm
Commenter: Fr. Paul Beutell

Proposed Regulations

   This proposal goes far beyond any policy in the Virginia Code.  The Virginia Code clearly details who is eligible to adopt.  In § 63.2-1201.1, it plainly states, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit any child to have more than two living parents by birth or adoption, who have legal rights and obligations in respect to the child, in the form of one father and one mother.”  Furthermore, in § 63.2-1225, the Code states, “In determining the appropriate home in which to place a child for adoption, a married couple or an unmarried individual shall be eligible to receive placement of a child for purposes of adoption.”  There is no mistaking intent: in Virginia, only married couples (one mother and one father, as decided by Virginia’s Marriage Amendment to the Constitution) or single individuals can adopt a child. 

   The current proposal, which includes prohibition of discrimination based on sexual orientation, stands in direct opposition to the confines of the Code, and attempts to usurp, by policy, the laws of the Commonswealth. 

   Futher, this proposed standard places undue restrictions on birthmothers and consequently adoption agencies.  Within the confines of an adoption conducted through a private agency, a birthmother is due the freedom to choose an adoptive parent of the same religious convictions so that her child may be raised accordingly.  Accordingly, private adoption agencies are deserving of the ability to screen adoptive parents based on the agency’s beliefs or the beliefs of their birthmothers.

CommentID: 16404