Adoption rights for lesbian and gay couples in Tennessee. Our position is based on research

Tennessee’s Attorney General – Bob Cooper – has stated that no current laws specifically bar gay couples from adopting in his state. Now there’s a push in the General Assembly to get laws changed to ban adoption by gay couples.

Proposed legislation in the state would not only prevent gay couples from being able to adopt children but would bar heterosexual couples who are not married from adopting. Single people could still adopt, but unmarried couples could not.

The Tennessean has posted its position on the subject:

The bill is flawed in two fundamental ways. First, the suggestion that a gay couple or an unmarried heterosexual couple, by definition, is fundamentally an unstable familial relationship is just plain mistaken. Caring couples, married or unmarried, gay or straight, exist statewide. Those relationships are not automatically unstable. To the contrary, many stable relationships are found in those categories. Some of them want to adopt children.”

The publication goes on to say that the bigger flaw is the implication that a married heterosexual couple is automatically considered a stable family environment for children.

Linda O’Neal is executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. She points out knowledge supported by research:

“Research also does not support restricting adoption options. The American Psychological Association reports not a single study has found children of lesbian or gay parents disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents. Indeed, the evidence to date suggests home environments provided by lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children’s psychosocial growth. The American Psychiatric Association reports children raised in gay or lesbian households do not show any greater incidence of homosexuality or gender identity issues than other children.”

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