Same sex marriage and adoption legislation


Same sex marriage, adoption  and second parent adoption

Same sex marriage has been legal in Virginia since 2014. An lawsuit at that time recognised that the current law banning same sex marriage was unconstitutional. I remember that time very well as a it was a popular topic of conversation. I have always been an advocate of pro gay marriage and adoption due to having a close family member who is gay and has been in a committed relationship of over 10 years and the effect of the change has been monumental for him and his partner – I now have a very spoiled (by me) nephew, when I never expected to.  Looking at statistics the increase of support across the states has increased year by year with more state legislation approving same sex marriage. It is such a shame that the permission to do so  has once again come onto the political agenda in a negative way and under the umbrella of religious freedom. As a group the topic was discussed and whilst there are some religious differences in acceptance levels, our group has a 100% positive and supportive attitude. In our discussions it became clear that all of us had personal contact with the gay community – I have always been an active ally of the HRC campaign and discovered that a number of other members were also. What came from discussions was the conclusion that contact with same sex couples is necessary to form an honest opinion, knowing them personally and seeing how they live their lives, committed to each other, their families and their religious beliefs is instrumental in the support of changes. A report in 2012 supports that conviction and makes interesting reading.

During out discussions a confusion over adoption came to light, fortunately with experience via my family member I was able to share what can and can not be done. Under current Virginia law a married couple ( same sex included since 2014) can adopt, a single person whatever their sexuality can adopt ( allowing for adoption criteria of course) but two unmarried  people can not adopt together. Virginia does not  have second parent adoption, this is where the partner of a legal/biological parent can be given parental rights, we do however have step-parent adoption but this is only when the couple is married. As a group we are in favour of this remaining the same, for some of us our  beliefs might not totally accept gay marriages but we are all totally committed to the idea that a couple should show a commitment to each other by marriage before considering the commitment to raising a child.

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