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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Proposed bill would filter Ohio adoption

There are not enough people willing to adopt foster care children in Ohio – and the Buckeye State is one of at least 16 in the nation where legislation is currently being proposed to ban same-sex couples from adopting or becoming foster parents.

State Representative Ronald Hood, R-91, believes only heterosexual people should be eligible to adopt or become foster parents, which is why he introduced and sponsored this bill in the Ohio House. Hood said that children raised by gay parents have increased risk of physical and emotional problems, and might question their own sexuality.

‘Studies have shown that the optimal setting to raise children is in a traditional setting with a mom and a dad,’ Hood said in an Associated Press article. He did not respond to numerous calls from The BG News for this story.

The bill, which was introduced to the Ohio Legislature in February, would ban any individual that is gay or lesbian from foster care and adoption. This is among efforts in at least 16 states, including Georgia and Kentucky, to put into law that children should be cared for by a mother and a father, or a heterosexual single.

There are currently 22,000 children in foster care in Ohio, of which about 2,800 are available for adoption. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is held responsible for finding these children an eligible parent.

Florida bans all gays and lesbians from adopting, but they can still be foster parents. Mississippi bans adoption by gay couples, though gay singles can adopt. Utah prohibits all unmarried couples from adoption.

Currently in Ohio, there is nothing on the adoption application that asks for someone’s sexual orientation, and applicants don’t have to be married to adopt. But if a couple want to adopt jointly, they must be legally married. In Ohio homosexuals are unable to marry, which means only one person will have legal guardianship of the adopted child.

Teresa Robinson, of Cincinnati, who with partner Kelly Robinson raises three daughters and two foster children, said she feels under attack by the proposed bill.

‘All citizens in Ohio should be treated equally. Same-sex relationships should not be singled out because of a homophobic fear,’ Teresa said. ‘Your sexual orientation and how God made you have nothing to do with your ability to take care of kids. What makes good parents are people who want to be good parents – nothing else.’

Robinson said there are more important issues that politicians need to spend their time on, such as child abuse.

‘Politicians need to stop the insanity of people who are hurting their kids, and not spend their resources on those who are doing their job,’ she said. ‘The majority of kids who come from sexual and physical abuse come from heterosexual parents.’

State Senator Robert Hagan agrees with Robinson that there are more important issues to deal with in Ohio than same-sex adoption.

‘I believe that a union between two people in love should be allowed; we have bigger problems to deal with,’ Hagan said. ‘I think this is a ridiculous proposal that has grown out of hatred, bigotry and homophobia. There is no scientific evidence that it negatively affects the children.’

In 2004, Ohio, along with 10 other states, approved a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

If the bill fails to become law through the Ohio legislature, which Hagan predicts, the issue might be taken to Ohio voters on the next ballot.

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