Hooray! Gay couples in Michigan will no longer be rejected from adopting a child by faith-based adoption agencies. This decision was based on the terms agreed upon in a settlement in a lawsuit that was filed by the ACLU that stated denying couples the right to adopt on the basis of sexuality is discrimination, according to NPR.
The settlement was reached on Friday as Attorney General Dana Nessel recognized that the law that was put in place in 2015 that allowed state-contracted adoption agencies to refuse to provide adoption and foster care rights to people who conflict with the agencies’ religious beliefs violated federal anti-discrimination laws. I agree with her because children raised by same-sex parents fare just as well as children with heterosexual parents and it is also counterproductive for adoption agencies to deny qualified applicants the right to adopt, as their whole purpose is to give parentless children to a loving home.
Now that an agreement has been met, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now required to abide by federally-mandated antidiscrimination plans in its foster care and adoption agencies as well as requiring the termination of contracts of agencies who fail to comply with the terms of the agreement.
Of course, not everyone is happy with the settlement. Lori Windham, the senior counsel at Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, claims that the settlement violates religious liberty laws for adoption and foster care agencies. But like what I wrote above, if adoption agencies deny the right to adopt a child to qualified potential parents based on sexuality, they’re not really doing their job as adoption agencies.
Additionally, the Michigan Catholic Conference, a group representing the Catholic Church in Michigan reacted to the settlement that this is most likely not the “last chapter of the story.”
The settlement announced today by the Attorney General @dananessel in the Dumont/Lyon case does nothing to protect the thousands of children in foster care looking for loving homes. As such, it is highly unlikely this is the last chapter of the story.
— MICatholicConference (@MICatholicConf) March 22, 2019
This settlement is definitely a great thing for same-sex couples in Michigan, but I don’t expect it to not have a great deal of opposition. However, I am optimistic that it will stay in place, despite whatever fight may ensue between the state of Michigan and the Catholic church.