The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a lawsuit against the state of Michigan for giving adoption agencies the right to deny adoption to same-sex couples, according to a report.
The ACLU announced their lawsuit in an official blog post, Wednesday, where they also claimed to be “hopeful” that their actions would send “a message” to states with similar laws, including Alabama, South Dakota, North Dakota, Texas, Virginia, and Mississippi.
In their post, the ACLU referenced the fact that “Michigan outsources child welfare services to private agencies,” who “enter into contracts with the state to care for children in the foster care system — including finding them appropriate foster and adoptive families — and are paid with taxpayer dollars to do this critical work.”
“Michigan has 13,000 children in the foster care system. Like most states, it doesn’t have enough families willing and able to meet their needs,” the organization claimed. “Because of the shortage of foster and adoptive families, some children are placed in foster families far from their families, schools and friends. Some are separated from siblings or placed in group homes. Some children wait years for an adoptive family and some age out of foster care without ever becoming part of a family.”
“Despite the need for more families to care for the state’s most vulnerable children, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services permits child placement agencies to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families headed by same-sex couples based on their religious objections,” they continued, adding, “Many agencies doing child placement work in Michigan are faith-based agencies, some of which have religious objections to placing children with same-sex couples.”
The lawsuit, which can be viewed in full, cites both the First and the Fourteenth Amendment.
According to the Advocate, a popular LGBT magazine, “The lawsuit does not challenge any private agency’s right to apply religious considerations in arranging adoptions that do not involve state government, ACLU attorneys said, but when these private agencies are using taxpayer dollars to make arrangements for children in state custody, they are obligated to follow the Constitution.”