There are thousands of children awaiting adoption in America, and many more are spending time in foster homes awaiting a stable home environment. While members of the GLBT community celebrate the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling concerning their right to marry, there has not been a significant change concerning their rights with regard to child custody and adoption. Citizens living in Ohio as well as in the rest of the country who are facing a same sex custody matter, which has not afforded them the same opportunities as couples from “traditional” households.
With the legalization of same sex marriages, many child advocates were excited that the pool of potential parents was going to expand. However, they have found that rights afforded to heterosexual couples are not often recognized for GLBT couples. There remains a significant bias against allowing children to be adopted into a GLBT household.
Advocates for children in temporary or foster care situations feel that the law is not being applied fairly, and that children are being kept from loving and nurturing permanent homes due to old and outdated biases. Across the country, many states have enacted legislation that effectively prevents GLBT couples from adopting children. This is done through means such as passing faith-based exclusions for adoption agencies, and “conscience clause” laws.
A same sex custody matter can come in different shapes and forms for many in the GLBT community in Ohio. This is a quickly-changing issue that has ramifications that many will face. It may be constructive to seek legal representation if there is evidence of bias or discrimination with regard to child custody or adoption.
Source: huffingtonpost.com, “Marriage Equality Is the Law, but Assaults on LGBT Parenting (and Much More) Continue“, Adam Pertman, March 28, 2016