Utah Adoption Equality Under Attack

Proposed legislation in Utah would require judges to favor straight couples over same-sex couples in adoption and foster care placements for kids in state custody.

LGBT rights activists are calling the bill blatantly unconstitutional in light of marriage equality laws, which effectively invalidate discriminatory adoption laws. Republican State Representative Kraig Powell, who sponsored the bill, insists the state should give kids a married mom and dad whenever possible.

Same-sex couples would be given preference if they were relatives or neighbors, but would otherwise stay at the bottom of the waitlist for adoption.

In cases where a child could be placed with straight strangers instead of gay strangers, a judge would “follow what’s been traditional and proven in society, that there’s a father and a mother and that gender diversity will be a broadening experience for the child," he said.

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Bafflingly, Powell says the bill would change existing laws to make it easier for same-sex couples to have kids through surrogacy and artificial insemination.

Equality Utah, who helped lead the charge against a Utah judge who ordered a foster child be removed from a lesbian couple and placed with a straight couple, promise to raise help if the bill advances.

“Gay parents have equal protection now under the law,” Executive Director Troy Williams told The New York Times. “Any effort by Representative Powell to roll back the rights and liberties of LGBT Utahns will be met with fierce resistance from our community.”

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