LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors adjourned Wednesday without voting on two bills currently before the committee which would allow adoption agencies the ability to deny an adoption placement based on that agency’s moral or religious beliefs.The committee hearing on the bills will reconvene at a later date at which time additional testimony will be taken.
Critics have charged that the broad language of the bills open the door for adoption agencies to discriminate against prospective adoptive parents based on any arbitrary reason, including sexual orientation.
The bills acknowledge that denying a couple based on religious or moral convictions does not imply “that the proposed adoption is not in the best interests of the adoptee,” and also protect public funding for agencies choosing to deny adoption based on moral moral or religious beliefs.
“Today’s committee hearing is, once again, wasting our money on bills that do nothing to help the 14,000 children residing in foster care in Michigan,” said Emily Dievendorf, managing director of Equality Michigan, in testimony before the committee on Wednesday.
“Anyone who stands between a child and the loving and capable family they so desperately need is not focusing on solutions, but instead adding to the problems of these young people. We can do better at caring for our most vulnerable, and we owe it to these children and to Michigan to spend more time trying,” said Dievendorf.
Previous attempts to pass similar bills have failed as recently as November 2012.