Oklahoma Becomes New Battleground for Same-Sex Adoption

Bill Would Allow Religious Adoption Agencies to Use Doctrine to Reject Parents

Oklahoma is being accused of being part of a new trend to erode LGBT adoption rights. The Oklahoma state senate will soon be voting on Senate Bill 1140. This new bill will allow private adoption agencies to use their personal moral and religious convictions to decide if a potential adopter is acceptable. The bill would also shield these organizations from lawsuits claiming discrimination.

LGBT organizations argue this would allow discrimination against themselves, single, or unwed individuals that want to adopt children. An additional argument could be made based on need. There are 9,000 children that need homes in Oklahoma. An LGBT couple is four times more likely to raise an adoptive child and six times more likely to become a foster couple. Therefore, this bill could mean that some children will have a tougher time finding homes.

At least seven other states have passed similar measures. Proponents of the bill argue this is about the government not forcing religious organizations to violate their deeply held beliefs in order for them to operate.

LGBT organizations have begun to start a statewide publicity campaign to raise enough awareness to defeat the measure. It is unclear what the likelihood of the bill becoming a law is at this point. There is no scientific evidence that a child adopted by a homosexual couple is prone to any particular harmful effects as a result of their parent’s sexuality.

Meanwhile, same-sex adoption has just become legal in Australia on Thursday.

Follow the Conversation on Twitter