Virginia’s Regulations Allow Adoption Agencies to discriminate based on “Family Status”

In April we wrote a blog post about the State of Virginia voting to “continue a practice that some argue allows faith-based organizations in Virginia to discriminate in adoptions.” The people discriminated by these regulations were LGBTQ couples. The Virginia law states that adoption agencies must allow single parents (heterosexual or LGBTQ) and married couples to adopt, but are allowed to discriminate on the basis of family status along with several other reasons. This regulation allows agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ couples, who are not allowed to marry in the state of Virginia, according to an article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

According to the article, after the vote in April, there was enough anger throughout the state about the regulations, that a 30-day public comment period was adopted in August to gauge the public’s opinion. The article said that during that period the state received 1,611 comments that were in favor of allowing LGBTQ couples to adopt and 1,154 against. Still on Wednesday, Virginia’s Board Of Services voted in favor of maintaining the status-quo, regarding these regulations in a 5-1 vote.

The article said that the one person to vote against adoption agencies being allowed to discriminate based on family status was Bela Sood, who is the Social Services Board Chairwoman. Referring to children being raised by a mother and father, Sood said in the article that “The science really doesn’t substantiate the notion that that is the only way children should be raised.”

Along with discriminating against these couples, these regulations will have an effect on children who are available for adoption. With less available options for forever families, children will remain in the foster care system for a longer period of time with a greater possibility of “aging out” of the system without ever finding their forever family.

The article said that there are currently “1,200 children awaiting adoption and 6,000 children in Virginia’s foster-care program.”

Adoption STAR does not discriminate based on sexual orientation or family status and has a long track record of working with single parents and LGBTQ couples. Please visit the Adoptive Parents section of the Adoption STAR website for more information on our programs. You can also contact the agency by email or phone at 1-866-691-3300.

To read the full Richmond Times-Dispatch article, click here.