The Pen

ACLU Lawsuit Settled: Michigan Same-Sex Couples can Freely Adopt Children

In September 2017, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) filed suit against the State of Michigan on the behalf two same-sex couples and a woman who was once in Michigan’s foster care system.

The suit maintained that both “state-contracted” and “tax-funded” (which includes faith-based organizations) child placement agencies unconstitutionally used sex-orientation religious criteria to exclude LBGT couples and individuals from fostering and adopting children.

On Friday, the Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel and the ACLU attorneys reached a settlement on behalf of the plaintiffs. The settlement includes that all state-contracted adoption agencies cannot discriminate based on the sexual-orientation of couples and thereby prohibiting them from adopting children.

Two of the plaintiffs, same-sex couple, Kristy and Dana Dumont said to the ACLU upon hearing the conditions of the settlement:

We are so happy that for same-sex couples in Michigan who are interested in fostering or adopting, opening their hearts and homes to a child no longer comes with the risk of being subjected to the discrimination we experienced.

It should be noted that Tennessee and Arkansas currently have legislation making its way through the legislative process to allow an exemption for state-funded agencies to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting children based on religious beliefs.

Currently, Alabama and Texas have legislation that allows religious organizations an exemption to prohibit same-sex couples from adopting children.