Will LGBTQ Families be Able to Foster And Adopt in Michigan?

Rainbow colored letters spelling LGBT
Gay parents should have the same rights as heterosexual parents says the Attorney General.

The issue of rights for LGBTQ people has been a spotlight issue in recent years. With the Supreme Court ruling that gay marriage was to be legalized across the nation, there was a corresponding surge in awareness of other LGBTQ issues. And here in Michigan, one of those concerns is the ability of gay couples to adopt and foster children.

Why would this be an issue in Michigan?

Michigan has a law that allows private adoption agencies to deny prospective parents the ability to adopt based on religious beliefs. This means that if an adoption agency is affiliated with a specific church or faith that doesn’t accept LGBTQ people, they may deny them the right to adopt.

MDHHS is siding with LGBTQ families in Michigan.

Just last month the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced that any Michigan-based adoption and foster agencies who choose to discriminate against LGBTQ parents would no longer be allowed to receive state referrals. That would significantly reduce the number of adoptions and fostering cases funneled to those agencies.

The Attorney General is also standing on the side of equal rights.

Michigan’s new Attorney General Dana Nessel also made it public in March that her office would no longer defend the 2015 law allowing child placement agencies to descriminate against LGBTQ people based on their religious preferences. Her reasons, she says are none other than the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services guideline that bans discrimination against same-sex couples.

Limiting adoptions goes against Michigan’s goals says Nessel

“Discrimination in the provision of foster care case management and adoption services is illegal, no matter the rationale,” Nessel, who pursued settlement talks after taking office in January, said in a statement. “Limiting the opportunity for a child to be adopted or fostered by a loving home not only goes against the state’s goal of finding a home for every child, it is a direct violation of the contract every child-placing agency enters into with the state.”

New legislation aims to make adoptions practices in Michigan fair for all

Recently, a number of democrats in the Michigan Senate got together and proposed new legislation that would expand adoption rights to all LGBT couples in Michigan. Senate Bills 272-275 would prevent any adoption agencies in Michigan from discriminating based on sexual orientation. They would also allow a same-sex partner to adopt their partner’s biological or adoptive child, and allow state and local governments to hold adoption agencies accountable if they engage in discriminatory practices.

Family law is complex and changes frequently in Michigan.

The law is fluid, which is why you need a skilled family law attorney when dealing with any legal matter than affects your family. So if you or a loved one are in need of assistance with any family law concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Our experienced family law attorneys have spent decades assisting the people of mid-Michigan with everything from divorce and custody, to CPS defense and paternity. We can help you too.