I comment both as: 1) a father, grandfather, and great grandfather and 2) an openly gay man.
I was one of the individuals who wrote supporting the reopening of the comment period on these regulations. I did so because the final version was so significantly different from that which was advertised. In the future, when there are such significant changes, a new comment period should be standard. Truth in advbertising should apply here!
I believe that the best interests of the child should be the sole factor in determining whether a child should be placed in a foster care or adoptive situation. If the Commonwealth does not intend to seek the best interest of the child, what legal and moral rights did it have to secure custody in the first instance? Children are not chattel to be disposed of upon the whims of anonymous Commonwealth employees.
I believe that Commonwealth licensed child placing agencies should not be allowed to disciminate against children or prospective parents based on: race, national origin, gender, age, religion (or lack of such), political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or family composition. More specifically, if the Commonwealth is statutorially prohibited from discrimination, it cannot allow its contract agents to do so. If agencies are unwilling to commit to non-discrimation, their contacts should be terminated. In this regard, are the proposed placement regulations consistent with the AG's January and September [Constitutionally based] rulings regarding Commonwealth interactions with non-profits?
Remedy: The State Board of Social Services should restore to the final rules the protections against such discrimination included in the proposed rules.