Virginia legislators to consider whether or not gays can adopt children
A battle over whether child-placement agencies should be allowed to discriminate against prospective parents and children based on their sexual orientation has moved to Virginia’s General Assembly. Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, has introduced legislation that would bar Virginia from contracting with or funding agencies that discriminate against children or otherwise eligible prospective foster or adoptive parents solely on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, family status, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. Ebbin said he knows gay and lesbian parents with children “and they are among the best parents I know.” He also cited the experience of one couple who have moved out of the state to be able to jointly adopt children. Equality Virginia and other advocates have expressed concern that a large number of young people in the foster care system are gay or lesbian, and unless the state adopts a law that bars discrimination they could be denied services based on their sexual orientation, compounding the difficulties they already face in finding permanent homes. “Every child deserves a loving home, and children who have been denied a loving home based on who they are deserve a chance to grow up as much as any other child,” Ebbin said.