Mississippi Family Law Attorney Discusses Same Sex Adoption

Now that marriage equality is the law, same-sex couples in Mississippi are beginning to focus on another area in which they are presently on unequal footing with heterosexual couples. Mississippi is currently the only state where same-sex couples are expressly prohibited from adopting children. This prohibition on adoption is the subject of a federal class-action lawsuit that is being brought by same-sex couples against the state of Mississippi.

The lawsuit challenging the ban on adoption by homosexual couples is based upon a constitutional argument that is similar to the argument that was presented in the recent successful lawsuit that challenged the validity of the prohibition of same-sex marriages. That argument is that the law is unconstitutional because it discriminates against people on the basis of sexual orientation.

Interestingly enough, the ban on same-sex adoption was not the law in Mississippi until fairly recently, in 2000. Perhaps even more interestingly, some of the people who were instrumental in getting the ban signed into law now regret having done so, such as Ronnie Musgrove, who was the governor of Mississippi at the time that prohibition on same-sex adoptions became official.

The ban on adoption by same-sex couples affects many different children. Of course, there are children who are available for adoption through adoption agencies and the like. There are also children in Mississippi’s failing foster care system who are in desperate need of safe and loving homes who are unable to be adopted by homosexual couples. In fact, same-sex couples cannot even provide foster homes for children on a short-term basis because the Mississippi Department of Human Services will not permit them to become foster parents. Mississippi law says that single people and married couples can become foster parents, so same-sex couples may be able to become foster parents if they get married first.

There are many children both in the foster care system and outside of it who are available for adoption and who need safe and loving homes. There are also many same-sex couples in Mississippi who are willing and able to adopt these children if the law would permit them to do so. There are also children who have entered the foster care system after being kicked out of their family homes because they are LGBT. Some foster parents are unwilling to care for LGBT kids, and since same-sex parents are unable to adopt, there is an entire group of children whose needs for safety, acceptance, support, and stability are not being met.

There are also families who are affected by the adoption ban because many same-sex couples are raising children even though they cannot adopt them. Many of the parents in these families do not have the custodial or parental rights that biological or adoptive parents have, which causes problems with everyday activities like signing kids up for sports programs, giving permission to go on school field trips, and seeking emergency medical treatment.

The ban on same-sex adoption is one way in which the state’s policies regarding sexual orientation can affect child custody cases. If you are involved in a child custody case, your Mississippi Child Custody Attorney can help you to understand legal issues regarding sexual orientation in the context of your case. If you need legal support regarding your Mississippi child custody case, contact Mississippi Family Law Attorney Matthew S. Poole today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free, initial consultation.

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Mississippi Family Law Attorney Discusses Same Sex Adoption
Mississippi Family Law Attorney explains same sex adoptions and the implications thereof.