Same-sex couples still waiting for adoption rights

Capital News Service
LANSING — Same-sex couples in Michigan can serve as foster parents, but if they wish to adopt a child together, current state laws say they can’t. This is because, by law, Michigan couples need to be married in order to adopt a child. And same-sex marriage in Michigan is still prohibited after a U.S. Appeals Court upheld the state’s ban, although 300 couples who were married during a brief legal window are now recognized by the state. Kathleen Nelson, executive director of the Michigan adoption agency Hands Across the Water, said a person’s LGBT status does not make a difference when it comes to one’s adequacy as a parent. “It’s an individual person thing,” Nelson said.

Efforts increase to allow joint adoption by unmarried couples in Michigan

Capital News Service
LANSING – A bill in the legislature, public support and an expected federal ruling may soon tip the balance in favor of unmarried couples looking to adopt children together. Such second parent adoptions can involve heterosexual unmarried couples but most cases involve same-sex couples, who cannot legally marry in Michigan. Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, sponsored a bill in January to explicitly allow unmarried couples to become joint parents. “If the only adoptive parent becomes incapacitated or passes away, the child goes back into foster care instead of with the only other parent they’ve known,” Irwin said. “It undermines the other parent’s right to make medical and financial decisions.”