Virginia Panel Rules Adoption Agencies Can Discriminate Against Gays

The Virginia Board of Social Services voted 5-1 Wednesday that state-licensed adoption agencies can discriminate against couples based on their sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, disability, gender, and family status, the AP reports:

VirginiaVirginia allows married couples and single people to adopt or become foster parents, but bars unmarried couples from doing so. Then-Gov. Timothy Kaine’s Democratic administration added the anti-discrimination provision in 2009, but it didn’t become a flashpoint for public debate until this year, when conservative legislators and groups complained.

The board voted 7-2 on April 20 to strip the protections barring adoption agencies from discriminating against prospective parents based solely on sexual orientation or any of the other five other categories.

Religious groups then came in, and won:

Several representatives of the Catholic church and other faith-based groups urged the board to keep out protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and other factors. Church leaders framed the issue as a matter of religious freedom and the ability of birth mothers to have the right to choose prospective parents who share their religious beliefs. They also said no one has a “right” to adopt a child.

After Wednesday’s decision, Virginia Catholic Conference executive director Jeff Caruso said that the board “affirmed the work of faith-based agencies and the important right of religious freedom in the state of Virginia.”

Va. board allows adoption agencies to discriminate based on sexual orientation, other factors [ap]


  1. MikeH says

    This is a bit bizarre and I don’t see how it will stand up in court; but we’ll see. Interesting how all these so called religious groups want to discriminate against everyone (because that is part of their religious beliefs to be bigots?) but will howl discrimination as soon as anyone tries to stop them from discriminating. Ha… did I get that right? LOL… so ridiculous!

  2. Paul R says

    My family lives in VA and I despise every second I spend there, breathing in its putrid air and engaging with its many backward people.

    The best thing you can say about VA: the leaves are pretty in the fall.

    The worst thing: nearly everything else.

  3. trickgood says

    I wonder if anyone is going to explain to the children who remain un-adopted, stuck in institutions or the foster system, that the Commonwealth of Virginia is trying to make sure that only the “right kind” of people are allowed to offer them a loving forever home and forever family.
    Simply tragic.

  4. james says

    If a birth mother wants to be sure her child is raised in accordance with her own religious beliefs, she should raise the child herself.

    And what are all these Catholic girls doing getting pregnant anyway? Don’t they use birth control?

  5. Robert in NYC says

    Another reason to boycott red states if your fortunate enough not to live in one. I won’t help their economies by one penny. Whenever I buy anything online, I check the site out to see where it’s based and if it happens to be in one of the red states, I forego any purchase. They can rot for all I care.

  6. Joey says

    They can discriminate based on political beliefs as well. Political beliefs??? Wow! I would hate to be an orphan in that state. So sad when adults put their own prejudices ahead of child welfare. To me this is typical of religion sanctioned child abuse.

  7. Francis says

    My state embarrassing me and all sane minded individuals who inhabit it yet again. I shouldn’t ever be surprised but it’s always a punch to the gut to read news such as this coming from Virginia, because it makes me realize I live in a backwards cesspool. Unmarried couples cannot adopt to begin with in VA, so in effect this just takes the ban against same-sex adoption that much further.

    Conservatives care more about their bigotry than they do about the well-being of children without homes.

  8. Jeff Kurtti says

    My husband and I adopted our oldest son in Hampton, VA. Thank goodness we got him out of that pit of bigotry and despair. (We also had to threaten a lawsuit against the Commonwealth in order to get his revised Birth Certificate with OUR names as parents…it was “delayed in processing” for more than two years.

  9. Terry says

    Virginia has never been a state that’s held up in court, however if this goes to the Virginia Supreme Court, it will be upheld, the Supreme Court will have to rule or at least a circuit court in order to bypass the VA Supreme Court, I think that the SCOTUS will end up hearing one of these cases in the near future though they declined to hear one from LA where they wanted both dads on the birth certificate but the state refused

  10. Tom in long beach says

    ah James, Remember the Roman Cult is against ANY kind of birth control. My own mom felt guilty for using it after she had three kids and knew she did not want any more.

    As for the children, These people do not care about them. They do care that they can go to families that will teach them to send money to Rome to keep their empire in business.

    Remember the hissy fits Catholic “Charities” have had in states that have adoption equality…. They shut down their offices and leave the state rather than let gays adopt.

  11. Patrick Wellington III says

    The Catholics have plenty of money to fund these adoption agencies themselves without asking for state money. I suppose they want to spend it on other things like supporting NOM.

  12. Paul R says

    It occurred to me that the state-sponsored agencies are chosen by the birth mothers, despite the fact that many if not most adoptive parents are chosen before the baby is even born.

    So a lot of this comes down to the birth mother and her views (or those of her parents, the guy who got her pregnant, etc.). If she chose to use a fundie, crazy state-approved agency before or after birth, this doesn’t change much because it says that discrimination is allowed, not required.

    And since single people can adopt and VA doesn’t even allow civil unions, what would keep me from adopting even if I’d been living with my partner for 15 years? Wouldn’t be hard to pretend that we were just long-time roommates.

    Yes, the need to lie sickens me. But VA sickens me too. If they asked for references, I have enough friends and employers who would lie to tout my hetero creds if having a child meant that much to me. And if the agency later tried to take my child away, I would notify every media outlet in the country.

    Though I’d much sooner move somewhere that appreciates the need for children to have a home, no matter the type.

    My brother and his wife got rejected as foster parents in VA because during a home visit there was a sealed bottle of wine in their kitchen. It’s sad when small minds have such great power to hurt and even ruin other people’s lives.

  13. K says

    This makes me sick. I’m sorry. I live in NoVa, Arlington, one of the few pro-LGBT parts of VA. Our county chairman is gay. A member of the school board is a lesbian, and we recently elected our first LGBT state-senator, Adam Ebbin. WE are the reason Virginia has a state economy that’s in the black. NoVa is where the jobs are. WE are the ones paying property taxes. And Virginia takes us for granted and ignores our progressive views. They hate us.

  14. Peter says

    For the small-minded, self-righteous hypocritical Virginians who believe that they are destined to a place in heaven because they attend their pathetic excuses for churches and then deny a child a good home, know that I have zero respect for you!

  15. Matt S says

    So, question, if a birth mother is a nazi who doesn’t want her child adopted by a black family, is that allowed? If so, then she can also say she doesn’t want her child adopted by a gay person.

    Personally, I feel that a biological mother, if involved in the adoption process (i.e., meeting prospective adoptive parents) should be able to deny that parent for any reason at all, even if it is discriminatory. However, she shouldn’t be able just to check a box on a form that says “No gays, no jews, no blacks.”

    Since Virginia and the Federal Constitution have no prohibitions against discrimination based on orientation, this will likely be upheld as legal, even if it is morally wrong, in my opinion.

Leave A Reply