Peter J. Smith

News

Arizona bill gives married couples adoption priority

Peter J. Smith

TUCSON, Arizona, April 15, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Arizona lawmakers have passed a bill that would tell state adoption agencies to make married couples a priority when seeking to place children in adoptive households.

Arizona’s Capitol Media Services reports that the state House of Representatives approved SB 1180 by a vote of 37-20 on April 7. The state Senate has already approved the legislation, which instructs the Department of Economic Security and adoption agencies to choose a married couple as the adoptive parents over all other applicants, unless there are other outweighing factors.

The bill does not exclude single individuals, divorcees, or unmarried couples from applying to be adoptive parents. The Center for Arizona Policy (CAP) notes that the bill includes as a relevant factor “whether the child has a healthy, meaningful relationship already with a single individual.”

Despite the contention of some homosexual activists that the bill is an attack on same-sex couples to keep them from adopting, CAP says that nothing in the legislation supports that view. 

The Arizona-based news service noted that legislators in favor of the bill stressed that they were trying to give children the best possible scenario by increasing their chances of placement into an intact family.

“I can be as kind, as considerate, as thoughtful as I can be,’’ said Rep. Rick Gray (R-Sun City), remarking on his own experiences as a single father. “But there is something unique and special that the woman brings as a mother to those children. And there’s something unique and special that a man brings as a father to those children.’‘

Rep. Justin Olson (R-Mesa) also stressed that the bill was not a criticism of single parents devoted to their children who “are doing tremendous work through no fault of their own, in circumstances they did not anticipate being.”

However, he said the two-parent (father-mother) family is the “fundamental unit of our society. … As they weaken, we weaken our society.’‘

The bill still needs the signature of Republican Gov. Jan Brewer before it becomes law.

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