New Adoption Bill Gives Agencies Right To Deny Kids For LGBT Couples, Single Parents In South Dakota

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 05, 04:00 am

LGBT couples and single parents could soon have a harder time with the adoption process in South Dakota. A new adoption bill passed in the state's Legislatures will give protection to agencies that deny kids to same-sex couples and single moms or dads who are willing to adopt or foster.

Members of the House from South Dakota voted on Senate Bill 149 with a 43-20-7 tally. Last month, senators also voted on the bill favoring the protection of adoption agencies by a 22-12 vote, according to Washington Blade.

The bill doesn't explicitly say adoption agencies can deny LGBT and single parents from adopting or fostering. It does, however, allow for adoption agencies, especially religious institutions, to decide based on their faith, beliefs and moral judgment.

Groups in support of LGBT are crying foul over the legislators' decision as it puts religious beliefs as a priority over the children's welfare. Many LGBT couples and single people can qualify as good parents and this bill is a discrimination against them, according to the ACLU.

The Child Welfare League of America, through Christine James-Brown, also criticized the legislators for approving the bill, via Argus Leader. What would happen to the 300 children waiting to be adopted and the 1,000 other kids abused or neglected in South Dakota's foster care system?

Republican Rep. Steven Haugaard, however, does not think the bill will impact the system negatively, citing it is actually "proactive and pre-emptive," according to Crux Now. "It's not going to impact or negatively affect the good work that they've done for decades," the representative said, referring to religious adoption agencies.

It's now up to Gov. Dennis Daugaard to either sign or veto the bill and proponents in support of LGBT parents hope Daugaard favors them as he had done in the past with other anti-LGBT bills. A spokesperson for the governor told the press he has made no decision yet. South Dakota laws allow the signing or vetoing of the governor to take place within five days after passing the bill.

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