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10/7/11  2:59 pm
Commenter: Megan Lindsey, National Council For Adoption

Current Standards provide most opportunities for children
 

The National Council For Adoption (NCFA) supports and appreciates that Virginia has taken such a reasonable approach to the Minimum Standards for Licensed Private Child-Placing Agencies, particularly with regards to 22 VAC 40 – 131-170(B), which has removed the discrimination standards which had the potential to lead to limitations on families for children.

 

The current proposed standards offer children access to the most opportunities for families while respecting the rights of all. Under the current standard, homosexual individuals are not prohibited from adopting and the free exercise of religion is protected. All individuals may act based on their own sincerely held beliefs under the current regulation. This protects the best interests of the child and offers them the most access to the opportunity for a forever family. 

 

The current law treats homosexual and heterosexual individuals equally. The Virginia Department of Social Services lists more than 75 different agencies licensed for adoption, foster care, and independent living services in the state of Virginia (available at: http://www.dss.virginia.gov/pub/pdf/childplacedir.pdf). This easily accessible directory provides an extensive list of existing agencies to ensure that any prospective adoptive parent, regardless of differing viewpoints, may find an agency that suits their needs.

 

Finally, National Council For Adoption feels it is important to emphasize, that while it is important to create access for adoptive parents, the goal of this access should not be to allow any individual to adopt, but to best serve the needs of children in need of a family, and their right to be adopted. We think the current version of the Virginia Licensing Standards strikes this balance appropriately and we strongly support the current version of 22 VAC 40-131-170(B). 

CommentID: 19688