Anti-LGBTQ Adoption Laws to be Considered in Georgia

Anti-LGBTQ+Adoption+Laws+to+be+Considered+in+Georgia

Catherine Lysaught, Staff Writer

On February 23, the Georgia Senate passed a bill that would allow adoption agencies to refuse same-sex couples’ the right to adopt children based on individual religious beliefs. In addition, the law prohibits the Georgia Department of Human Services from taking any action on adoption agencies. The “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act” allows adoption services the right to deny any same-sex couples a child and gives these adoption services protection against any lawsuits.

The Senate and those who have created this bill have the Christian adoption agencies in mind. By giving the agencies the right to turn away same-sex couples, they feel that more Christian adoption agencies will open in Georgia and the number of children in foster care will decrease. “Georgia senators believe that allowing adoption agencies to turn away married gay couples would result in more adoptions of foster children. The reason that more Christian adoption providers will open in Georgia if the government protects their religious objections to same-sex parents, as envisioned by the Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act” according to AJC.com

Those who developed the “Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act” feel that this bill will not prohibit same-sex couples from adopting, but will lead them to adoption agencies that share their beliefs. This law will enable Christian adoption agencies to adhere to their religious values while not prohibiting the LGBTQ community from adopting children. “Supporters of ‘Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act,’ say same-sex families could still adopt children when the legislation passes — they’d just have to work with an adoption agency that caters to them” (AJC.com).

Those against the bill also worry about the effects on the foster children and the economy. This bill would lead to the decrease in children available to be adopted as LGBTQ couples would have a harder time adapting. In states, like Indiana, with similar laws, they saw a decrease in adoption rates as same-sex couples became too afraid of discrimination to adopt. Aside from that, this law would allow agencies the right to refuse LGBTQ children from services that would let them be adopted.

Enabling this law in Georgia would cost the state a large amount of money as well. Between enabling the law in the state and the loss from business in adoption agencies, states who passed similar laws saw a loss of millions of dollars. “Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act cost the state $60 million in lost business” (INTO.com).

This law has possibly detrimental effects on the economy of Georgia. Amazon has recently discussed its plan to move its headquarters into Atlanta, but this new bill has them rethinking that decision. If Amazon moved their headquarters into Atlanta, it would create over 50,000 new jobs in Atlanta and would have widespread economic effects on the state. “Ahead of that decision, the company has a “No Gay, No Way” campaign that has urged the company not to open the new center in a state with anti-LGBTQ laws” (INTO.com).

With the development of the new law, LGBTQ individuals in Georgia have planned a march at the Georgia State Capital on March 1 to oppose the bill and to talk to government officials about problems facing the LGBTQ community. “This event will provide a free training on how to educate state legislators at the Capitol on the issues facing LGBTQ Georgians, and what they can do as legislators to be part of the solution” according to Georgiaequality.org.