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Indiana Accused Of Double Standard In Gay Adoption Rules

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Indiana Accused Of Double Standard In Gay Adoption Rules

by The Associated Press

May 30, 2006 - 9:00 pm ET

(Indianapolis, Indiana) The battle over whether gay couples should be allowed to adopt children continues in the state court system, but Indiana allows the couples to become foster parents, which some advocates say is a double standard.

Kim Brennan and Becki Hamilton cared for three foster children without raising an uproar, but when they adopted a child, they were thrust into a legal battle over gay adoption in Indiana.

"We're good enough to fix the broken children they send to us, but we're not good enough to be their parents?" Brennan told The Indianapolis Star for a Tuesday story. "Look at that from a child's aspect: If gays and lesbians aren't good enough to adopt them, but they can be foster parents, what does that say about how the state feels about our foster children?"

Two trial judges in the couple's Morgan County case have disagreed about the adoption, and the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 last month that it is legal under state law.

On May 15, Indiana Attorney General Steve Carter asked the Indiana Supreme Court to decide whether two people who are not married can jointly petition for an adoption.

No matter what the court decides, state Sen. Jeff Drozda, R-Westfield, wants to ban gays and lesbians from adopting. He said children are better off in households that have a mother and father, and that there is a clear distinction between adopting and foster parenting.

"Whenever you're doing a foster situation, the child is still a ward of the state," Drozda said. "And that is obviously a little bit different than turning over full adoption, full parental authority to (a gay) individual or couples."

Legislators across the country seem to feel the same way, said Carrie Evans, state legislative director for Human Rights Campaign. Evans said more than a dozen states are considering making it illegal for gay people to adopt, while only a handful have tried to stop them from being foster parents.

"We are seeing a lot of lawmakers who may have been against marriage, adoption and equality (for gays) who are not willing to support foster family restrictions," said Evans, whose group supports the right of gays and lesbians to adopt and marry.

Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, said he thinks foster homes with a mother and father are best for children.

But Evans said there are no peer-reviewed studies that show children of lesbian and gay parents grow up any worse off than others. She said gay people should not be prohibited from foster parenting.

"To shut out a whole class of people who could qualify to provide stable, loving homes is just illogical and so patently unfair to these children," Evans said.

©365Gay.com 2006

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