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Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Louisana State Rep Proposes a Path to Gay Adoption.

In Louisiana, as in many other states, adoption by same sex couples is not possible, but is not prohibited by state constitutional ban.  Rather, the regulations simply prohibit adoption by any couples not legally married - which thereby excludes gay and lesbian couples as prospective parents, but also excludes unmarried heterosexual couples. (Single people oddly may adopt  -so a gay man qualifies, as long as he applies as a single person). Now, a state rep, Juan La Fonta, has proposed relaxing this restriction.  This will open up a path to gay adoption, but also open up opportunities for other prospective parents. Mr    hopes that by refusing to couch this move purely in terms of "gay" adoption, he will avoid the emotional excesses that have surrounded other moves around marriage and adoption equality. I have no idea what are his chances of success - we can but wait and see.  


Gay couples, others could adopt under Rep. Juan LaFonta's proposed changes

Rep. Juan LaFonta, D-New Orleans, is proposing to expand Louisiana adoption laws with language to recognize as parents both persons in a gay couple. 
But LaFonta is not going directly after the provision of Louisiana law that restricts adoption to married couples or single individuals but not unmarried couples. Instead, House Bill 738 would expand the list of eligible persons to petition for "intrafamily" adoptions, those that involve a second adult becoming a legal parent to a child who already has a legal parent in the same family or household.
He plans to bring the bill to the House Civil Law & Procedure Committee next week.
Current law already allows a step-parent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent, grandparent, aunt, great aunt, uncle, great uncle, sibling, or first, second or third cousin to adopt a child under certain circumstances. LaFonta would add "second parent" to that list, provided "the petitioner is the sole legal parent and agrees to the adoption of the child by a second parent."
As with the rest of Louisiana adoption law, the bill does not mention sexual orientation. Gay residents in Louisiana already adopt, but a gay couple -- or an unmarried heterosexual couple -- must choose just one of the pair to become the legal parent, with the second adult having no legal relationship with the child.
 (Read the full report)

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