Bills Against LGBTQ-Adoption Are 'Snowballing' in State Legislatures

At least nine states have laws allowing for religious exemptions in the foster and adoption process, and several others are considering similar measures.
April 5, 2019 AT 7:20 AM

By Julie Moreau

Kristy Dumont and her wife, Dana, had been hoping to foster a child, so they approached Catholic Charities in Michigan in 2016. The two women, however, said they were “shut down” due to their sexual orientation.

“We didn’t get any farther than the first phone call,” Kristy Dumont told NBC News.

Kristy and Dana Dumont were two of the plaintiffs in a discrimination suit filed by the ACLU against faith-based adoption agencies.

Kristy and Dana Dumont were two of the plaintiffs in a discrimination suit filed by the ACLU against faith-based adoption agencies.Courtesy of ACLU

The Dumonts proceeded to sue the state, and on March 22 the couple reached a settlement with Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel's office. Under the settlement, faith-based adoption agencies that are funded by the state of Michigan will no longer be able to turn away LGBTQ couples or individuals because of religious objections.

Kristy and Dana Dumont said they are “thrilled” with the outcome of the case and hope to foster a child soon.

But while Michigan is making it harder for agencies to deny lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender prospective parents, a number of other states are moving in the opposite direction.

"Adoption discrimination is snowballing toward a serious crisis for children, families and communities,” Liz Welch, a faith engagement strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union, told NBC News. “Once considered fringe policy in just a couple states, the push behind child welfare religious exemption bills has picked up alarming speed and momentum.”

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