|Action||Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/1/2011|
These changes in regulations will have the effect, intended or not, of suppressing faith-based adoption agencies in the state. The issue of same-sex relationships with respect to marriage and the family is still an extremely controversial one, which is nowhere near being settled either legally or culturally. Given that state of affairs, adoption regulations should seek to be value-neutral with regard to sexual orientation issues. The status quo excludes no one, either from adopting or from facilitating adoptions. Same-sex couples can seek adoption agencies that share their values, and likewise people who hold traditional beliefs about marriage and family can work with those who share theirs. The changes in the regulations would mark a radical shift to one side of that cultural debate, and a dramatic exclusion of those on the other. The status quo is the one that represents tolerance and inclusion. The new regulations would be a move toward exclusion and religious discrimination.