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9/13/11  1:30 pm
Commenter: Christine Stencel, a resident of Arlington, VA

Child Placement and State Board of Social Services
 

I am appalled that the State Board of Social Services voted to strip protections against discrimination based on gender, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability and family status from proposed rules regarding child placement. This vote is wrong and it is just plain mean. I expect better from Virginia's public officials.  

The effect of this decision is to say it’s okay for state-licensed agencies to refuse to place children because they are not the “right” religion, they are disabled, they are too old or they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender. Stripping these protections would also give state agents the right to tell prospective parents (single people or married couples) that they won’t help them provide a child with a loving adoptive or foster care home simply because they are not the “right” gender or religion, they are disabled, they are too old, or they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.

State-licensed child placing agencies should not be allowed to discriminate against children or prospective parents. Decisions about placements should be based on  the best interests of the child and the ability of prospective guardians to provide a safe, nurturing environment. These decisions should NOT be based on arbitrary factors such as race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability or family status.

The State Board of Social Services should restore to the final rules the protections against such discrimination included in the proposed rules.

CommentID: 18058