Mississippi adoption ban challenged


Mississippi is the only state left in the nation that bans gay couples from adopting without regard for their qualifications as parents or the best interests of the child. The ban has been challenged in a federal lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of the state’s law banning adoption by same-sex couples.

The case was filed August 12th, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on behalf of four same-sex couples: Kari Lunsford and Tinora Sweeten-Lunsford, who are seeking to adopt a child; Brittany Rowell and Jessica Harbuck, also seeking to adopt; Donna Phillips and Janet Smith, parents to a young daughter; and Kathryn Garner and Susan Hrostowski, who have a 15-year-old son. Two organizations – the Campaign for Southern Equality and Family Equality Council – join the case as plaintiffs representing the LGBT families across Mississippi.

As of 2014, 996 same-sex couple households in Mississippi were raising 1,401 children, according to the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law. According to data from the 2010 Census, 29 percent of the 3,484 same-sex couples currently living in Mississippi are raising children under the age of 18 in their homes.

There are currently approximately 100 children in Mississippi who are in foster care and legally available for adoption, but who have not been matched with parents who can adopt them.

via Family Equality Council
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