Last week Virginia Governer Bob McDonell announced the Virginia Adopts Campaign, an effort to find permanent homes for 1,000 of Virginia’s approximately 4,000 children in the foster care system.
Independent Adoption Center supports this effort, but we must also point out that Virginia’s “Conscience Clause” law prevents otherwise eligible families from adopting. Signed by Gov. McDonell in February, 2012, the law allows private adoption and foster care agencies to determine their own eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents. This has led to discrimination against qualified families based on their sexual orientation, marital status, age, political and religious beliefs.
In 2013, Virginia’s current law is not only anachronistic in its discrimination, it prevents children in the foster care system from placement with loving and dedicated parents. IAC joins the ACLU of Virginia, the Family Equality Council, and others, in urging Gov. McDonell to end this policy of discrimination, and to revise adoption law in Virginia to truly put the best interests of the children first.