Homosexual Couples Should Be Allowed to Adopt
New Jersey’s statewide parenting legislation espouses a progressive stance on the matters of same-sex parenting and child care in the processes of adoption and foster parenting. The Garden State allows for same-sex adoption; allows single homosexuals to adopt; and allows second parent same-sex adoption (“Same-Sex Adoption Laws,” n.d.). New Jersey has passed progressive laws and policies that prohibit discrimination charged against gay individuals in the adoption process (Sudol, 2010). New Jersey state law also bans discrimination against gay individuals in the foster parent process (2010). New Jersey Statutes Annotated 9:3-43 enables for any person to adopt permitted the said person(s) pass a background investigation and meet adoption criteria for eligibility(N.J.S.A. 9:3-43). Unmarried joint adoptive parents petitioning to adopt a child can do so because of N.J.S.A. 9:3-43. In re Adoption of two Children by H.N.R., 666 A.2d 535 (N.J. Super. 1995) permits second parent adoption; this statute exercises the possibility for an individual to petition for shared rights of custody with a parent who already possesses legal parental custody of a child. Several states prohibit joint adoption due to unmarried status. This statute is favorable for unmarried parents seeking to adopt in New Jersey. This New Jersey statute provides for an overall tolerant atmosphere for queer individuals and couples looking to adopt or become foster parents. In summary, laws and policies regarding same-sex adoption vary from state to state. The three common forms of adoptive guardianship are individual (single) parent adoption, joint adoption, and second parent adoption. Firstly, the most traditional type of adoptive parents is the single parent adoption. This is where an unmarried individual adopts a child that has been put up for adoption by the birth parent or by the state. Secondly, joint adoption is when an unmarried couple can petition the court to adopt a child. Lastly, in the case of a second parent adoption, one parent has legal guardianship over a child and a second parent petitions the court to become a legally recognized co-parent. Bans on gay marriage vary state by state, as a consequence, gay couples cannot petition for adoption as a married couple but, as single individuals. This creates the opportunity for gay couples to become legal parents of foster children since most states prevent unmarried couples from adopting. As a result of state to state differences in the question of gay adoptive parents, second-parent adoptions are either permitted or the laws are unclear (Montana, 2009). Montana (2009) argues that ambiguity in court decisions are prevalent regarding gay second parent adoption petitions. Montana (2009) asserts how a state’s unclear and ambiguous position on second parent adoption places the decision on the judge to rule according to his or her personal beliefs concerning homosexuality rather than the letter of the law. The courts of twenty-one states including Washington, D.C. have granted second-parent adoption availability to several individuals applying to become legal second parents or co-parents of former foster children (Public Broadcasting Service, 2006). Mississippi law bars same-sex couples from all possibilities of adoption but, allows the viability for single gays and lesbians to adopt (Public Broadcasting Service, 2006). In Utah and New Hampshire, all unmarried couples, regardless of sexual orientation are allowed to adopt (Public Broadcasting Service, 2006). The following states allow adoption by openly gay and lesbian couples: Florida, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. Social movements and countercultures during the 1960’s and 1970’s emerged and challenged institutionalized oppression. The Civil Rights movement addressed the plight of African Americans in a viciously racist...
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