Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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10/11/11  12:05 pm
Commenter: David Ensign, Clarendon Presbyterian Church

adoption policy
Thank you for your crucial work on behalf of all citizens of the commonwealth. I write with particular concern for the youngest and most vulnerable of those citizens: children who need adoptive parents.
As a leader in a Christian faith community I am committed to following the way of Jesus, who taught his followers to look out first for the interests of the most vulnerable. In decisions regarding the placement of a child with prospective foster care or adoptive parents the best interests of the child should be the sole factor considered.
With that in mind, state-licensed child placing agencies should not be allowed to discriminate against children or prospective parents based on race, national origin, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability and family status. My younger brother is part of a biracial family with an adopted daughter whose birth parents were also a mixed race couple. When we were children, such marriages and adoptions would have been contrary to state law in Virginia. Today same gender couples face the same kinds of barriers that mix-race couples faced 50 years ago. Just as it is in the best interest of my niece to have been placed with a loving family that happens to include a white dad and an African-American mom, it will be in the best interest of some other child to be lucky enough to be placed with a loving family that happens to include two dads or two moms.
Obviously I speak from personal experience when it comes to my brother's family, but I also speak from personal experience when it comes to same-gender couples and their families. The church I serve includes many same gender couples. One was in worship this week with their infant daughter. That child is richly blessed to be have parents who deeply love each other and are head over heels in love with their little girl.
Help other children have the same blessings. Toward that end, the State Board of Social Services should restore to the final rules the protections against discrimination included in the proposed rules. Thank you.
CommentID: 20577