South Dakota’s Proposed Adoption Bill

There are a lot of political issues these days that I find pretty upsetting. I’ve wanted to start writing out some of my thoughts on them but I haven’t known where to start. It’s all just so overwhelming. Yesterday I saw this article and I knew this would be a good place for me to begin because it really hits home. Here’s an excerpt from the article in case you don’t feel like reading it in its entirety:

“SB 149 would allow state-licensed and taxpayer-funded child-placement agencies to disregard the best interest of children, and turn away qualified South Dakotans seeking to care for a child in need — including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a purported religious objection…The measure would even allow agencies to refuse to place foster children with members of their own extended families — a practice often considered to be in the best interest of the child…It would also allow agencies to refuse to provide appropriate medical and mental health care to LGBTQ children if the agency has a purported moral or religious objection to providing those services. Shockingly, under SB 149, an agency couldn’t lose its license or contract as a result of subjecting a child to abusive practices like so-called conversion therapy if it claimed such “therapy” is compelled by religious belief.”

Why does this hit home? My husband and I are both non-believers (as in we aren’t religious) and we are also on the wait list for adoption as I type this. (If you didn’t know that, surprise!!) Our decision to adopt was based largely on the fact that we believe we can make a positive difference in the life of a child who might not otherwise get that opportunity. We believe we will be incredible parents when our child arrives, whenever that might happen (hopefully soon!!!).

However, if a bill such as this one was to pass where we live, in Maryland, adoption agencies would have the freedom to reject us as adoptive parents, despite the fact that we would be paying into the tax dollars that fund said agencies. Hmmmm, that sounds like fucking bullshit. Because we believe morality doesn’t hinge upon religion beliefs, because we believe that you can be a good person while simultaneously questioning humanity’s origins, because we think our LGBTQ friends have the right to marry and adopt kids of their own,  we could be denied the opportunity to GIVE A CHILD A HOME. To be clear, they would rather a child stay homeless than folks like us give that child a home.

This bill is of course not the first of its kind. There have been and continue to be others like it around the country. With the current administration these bills are unfortunately getting more love and attention than they have before. Love and attention that could be going towards helping children, instead of denying them the right to a forever home.

It is my hope that in writing this, just maybe, I’m bringing some small amount of attention to this issue. With all the shenanigans surrounding politics these days it is easy to let important issues like this slip through the cracks unnoticed. While America focuses on who used what email and who spoke to Russia when, children are being negatively affected.

If those supporting these bills are going to go around jamming “America First” down everyone’s throat, let’s actually put all Americans first and not just a select few.

Here is a link to the actual proposed bill.