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Virginia

Bills to allow second parent adoption to be considered by Va. general assembly

Friday, January 10, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. — Two bills hoping to make second parent adoption easier for couples in Virginia, including same-sex couples, are headed to the 2014 General Assembly.

gay-adoptionSB 336, sponsored by Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Arlington, Fairfax), states “a person other than the spouse of a parent may adopt a child if the child has only one parent, the adoption would not terminate the parental rights of the parent, and the parent joins in the petition for the purpose of indicating his consent.”

A second bill, expected to have mirrored language, will enter the House via Del. Joseph Yost (R-Giles County). Yost’s office had not returned phone calls from GayRVA by press time, but Equality Virginia and an aid for Howell said the GOP Delegate had pledged his support for the measure.

Assembly members still have time to submit bills and the House version of the bill is excepted soon.

The language of the bill has been a large part of Equality Virginia’s legislative schedule for this session. While EV is holding comments on the bill till next week, one of the legal experts that helped draft the bill,

Richmond lawyer and adoption expert Colleen Quinn, one of the legal experts that helped draft the bill, said that Virgina’s incoming Democratic governance and polls that show a shift in public opinion, “the timing is good” to put the issue before the Assembly.

Quinn worked with EV and The Family Equality Council‘s Denise Brogan-Kator on the language of the bill.

“It’s written such that a person other than a parent of the child may adopt,” said Borgan-Kator. “As long as that child already has only one legal parent – it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight.”

“The purpose of this bill is to provide security and stability for children living in two-parent families already in VA, but are only able to have a legal relationship with one parent,” said Borgan-Kator

It’s possible for a single person, gay or straight, to adopt in the state of Virginia, but the partner, or unmarried significant other, lacks an avenue to gain parental rights. This bill would create a channel for such a second parent.

Adoption in Virginia for same-sex couples has its own challenges beyond the lack of marriage recognition.

The passage of HB 189, known as the Conscience Clause, in the 2012 session gave state-licensed and state-funded adoption and foster care agencies the right to legally deny services to children and prospective parents based on the groups religious or moral beliefs – for example, if a group disagreed with same-sex couples or didn’t approve of being LGBT, they could deny adoption based on this issue alone.

SB 336 and it’s unnumbered House counterpart will not change the process for agencies or affect the Conscience Clause, but they do offer hope to couples currently with children who are either unable to be married, or have chosen not to wed.


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23 more reader comments:

  1. So John, are you saying men aren’t good parents?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:23am
  2. No one is dumb, John. You know what? As long as that child has two loving parents that accept them and support them, that’s all that matters. It’s not wrong for two parents to raise their kids. If you don’t support gay marriage or gay parents, get the fuck off here. Nobody cares about your stupid homophobic remarks. It’s really not necessary.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:24am
  3. So kids with only one parent or no parent are better off? Who are you really worried about here John? The kids? Or you own irrational fears?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:25am
  4. there is nothing wrong with it……. I see it as if a Mom & Dad split now the child has 2 families only difference is there are no Mom’s involved you would be very surprised to see how well men do on their own…so stop knocking Dad’s everywhere!!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:25am
  5. Thou Shall Not Judge........says the Bible.......

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:46am
  6. Awesome. Every child needs a loving and safe home!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:29am
  7. Virginia is on fire lately… i hope the ENDA of virginia, the ban on conversion therapy and this one pass… i am not hopeful for the marriage equality bill though…

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:32am
  8. As a Virginian, I do believe that we can get Equality passed within the next two years!! Our new, *progressive* governor takes office tomorrow!!!

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:23am
  9. well, i do believe that the court will settle it for Virginia and I know that it will happen within this year or in 2015... I am hopeful but when it comes to the legislative branch, not so much...

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:37am
  10. Hey John: the bible teaches that judging others is wrong. Why are you so free to violate the word of the bible?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:33am
  11. Actually, John, the bible also says that you cannot wear different fabrics, eat pork, eat shellfish, or work on a Sunday. Tattoos are also “sins” according to the bible. Also, Jesus never said anything about homosexual relations and said to never judge others. When the bible said, “Love thy neighbor” it meant everyone.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:38am
  12. Also if you dislike gay marriage, why do you even like this page?

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:39am
  13. John, you better crawl back under your bridge before the sun comes up like the troll that you are.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:39am
  14. ❤️❤️❤️

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:50am
  15. Hi Virginia. Welcome to Evolution for fuck’s sake.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:52am
  16. John Homes, until you can form a proper sentence, use correct grammar, and spell correctly, your opinion does not count.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:53am
  17. Puleasee. Catch up, we are already raising families you troglodites!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 3:29am
  18. Great!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:04am
  19. I think its about time

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 4:20am
  20. We can do this, Virginia!

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 10:50am
  21. It is about time VA slides into the year 2014.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:17pm
  22. Some progress.

    Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:49pm
  23. If I was in charge of Adoption in the state of Va. I would shut the doors a lock and set it a fire! Before I would let a young child go home with a gay cople

    Replied on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 2:18pm