WASHINGTON — The Democratic junior U.S. Senator from New York is set to introduce next week legislation that would bar adoption discrimination against LGBT parents.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is set on Monday to introduce the legislation, known as the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, according to her office. It would be first time the measure has been introduced in the Senate.
The bill would restrict federal funds for states if they have laws or practices allowing for discrimination in adoption on the basis of marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.
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In a statement, Gillibrand hailed her own state of New York for what she said was removing barriers in allowing LGBT parents to adopt and said other states should follow that example.
“New York is a leader on ensuring that any family can adopt children and sets a great example for the rest of the country,” Gillibrand said. “By removing all barriers for LGBT families to serve as foster parents, New York State has increased its foster parent pool by 128,000 prospective parents. This legislation would open thousands of new foster and adoptive homes to children ensuring they are raised in loving families.”
Gillibrand’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request to comment on the number of original co-sponsors for the bill or the committee to which the legislation would be referred. The bill will likely be sent to the Senate Finance Committee.
The Washington Blade previously reported in March that Gillibrand intended to introduce the adoption anti-discrimination bill. She didn’t formally announce her intentions until Friday.
According to Gillibrand’s office, most states permit single LGBT parents to adopt, but many don’t allow LGBT couples to do so. Five states prohibit same-sex couples outright from adopting: Utah, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina and Michigan. Additionally, six states ban same-sex parents from adopting their partner’s children.
More than two dozen states have no laws one way or other on adoption for prospective LGBT foster and adoptive parents. According to Gillibrand’s office, the lack of non-discrimination policies in these states leaves potential LGBT parents vulnerable to agencies and case workers’ biases.