Michigan governor Rick Snyder [official website] on Thursday signed into law a bill [materials] that allows private adoption agencies to deny placements they object to for religious reasons, including placements with same-sex couples. Snyder said the law reflects existing practices [press release] by the state and that his objective is to get as many children adopted as possible. Michigan Catholic Conference [advocacy website] CEO Paul Long advocated for the bill [press release], saying it would “promote a diverse range of child placement providers.” ACLU of Michigan [advocacy website] deputy director Rana Elmir condemned the bill [press release], saying “Agencies have a legal obligation to ensure the best interests of the child are considered during placement. There is nothing about this shameful legislation that helps vulnerable kids find homes,” and promising to appeal the law.
Same-sex marriage [JURIST backgrounder] and adoption remain controversial issues around the world. In May the Supreme Court of the US Virgin Islands ruled [JURIST report] that second-parent adoptions by same-sex couples are permitted under Virgin Islands law. In April the Florida Senate voted to repeal [JURIST report] the state’s ban on same-sex adoption. In March the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals ruled that the state must recognize the out-of-state adoption of a biological mother’s same-sex partner. Also In March, the Slovenian Parliament [official website] passed legislation [JURIST report] granting same-sex marriage and adoption rights amid public opposition from conservative and religious groups. In February the Constitutional Court of Colombia [official website, in Spanish] upheld [JURIST report] a restriction that same-sex couples cannot adopt children that have no biological relation to either parent.