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Religious exemption laws deny LGBTQ right to adopt or foster

When LGBTQ parents try to adopt or foster in Pennsylvania, they often worry about how their sexual orientation or marital status may affect the adoption. This anxiety is not without good cause. NBC News reports that LGBTQ parents suffer from discrimination sanctioned by the states they called home. This led to the American Bar Association taking its own stance to represent the rights of the community.

The ABA created a 16-page document to show that LGBTQ families across the U.S. should be guaranteed rights related to adoptions and fostering. It also addressed many of the state laws that now affect these parents’ ability to move through the foster or adoption process.

Up to 3.7 million children in America live with at least one LGBTQ parent and 200,000 of these children live with same-sex parents. Many religious entities have spoken out against this, but studies show that these children are as happy as children raised by heterosexual families. The uncertainty regarding their placement may, however, cost both them and their parents some disquiet.

Rather than decline, these practices of making things difficult for LGBTQ families has actually increased. In fact, back in 2018, NBC News ran another article shedding light on the religious exemption laws that prevented prospective LGBTQ parents from fostering or adopting. Turning these parents away only contributed to the child welfare crisis. Every year, about 50,000 children get adopted, while another 20,000 “age out” of the system without transitioning into a new family.

Some professionals working in the field or studying the phenomena argue that allowing more LGBTQs to adopt could reduce the burden on tax payers to fund a system already in disrepair. If just 1,000 10-year-olds got adopted instead of aging out of the system, taxpayers could save $230 million during that eight-year period.

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