As an attorney practicing adoption law (as well as employment law) in Virginia for over 22 years, the removal of the anti-discrimination provisions for "gender, age, religion, politcal beliefs, sexual orientation and family status" from teh DSS regulations is quite disturbing. These provisions need to be left in along with "race, color and national origin." The biggest reason why ALL the discriminatory factors should be left in is that we need as many qualified adoptive families and foster parents in Virginia as possible for the children who need to be adopted. Adoptive families and foster parents have to jump through so many hoops (criminal and CPS checks, medical clearances, financial wherewithal, etc.) already - that we need to remove any additional barriers to them in Virginia. Moreover, the regulation also applies to the children to be adopted - and we need to remove any barriers to them being placed as well.
It also is imperative that Virginia be on par with other states - and keeping in ALL of the prohibited dsicriminatory factors will do that.
The only way to increase the number of adoptions and reduce the number of youth in Virginia's foster care system is to remove all unfounded discriminatory barriers to finding qualified, loving and stable parents. At a minimum these provisions need to remain in place for all public agencies and all non-religious private agencies.