Equality Arizona

Equality Arizona urges Governor Brewer to veto SB1188, put child’s best interest ahead of politics in adoption

Phoenix, Ariz. (April 12, 2011) – Equality Arizona’s board chairman issued a statement today following the vote in the Arizona State Senate to give final approval to SB 1188, a bill that would create obstacles to placing children and youth in foster care with loving families. SB 1188 mandates that the Arizona Department of Economic Security and adoption agencies give primary consideration to the placement of a child with a “married man and woman.” The bill now heads to Governor Jan Brewer’s desk to either be signed into law or vetoed.

The Board Chairman for Equality Arizona, issued the following statement:

“We are disappointed that Arizona lawmakers have failed to recognize the harmful impact that SB 1188 could have on children in Arizona who are seeking a permanent home. We urge Governor Brewer to waste no time and veto this bill right away.

“SB 1188 takes the focus off of what’s in the best interest of a child when adoption decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis, according to what’s in a child’s best interest. Each case is unique. For example, adoption authorities may have the choice between placing a child with a beloved single aunt — or complete strangers. The only consideration should be determining what’s in the best interest of the child.

“Experienced child health and social service authorities, not politicians, should make adoption decisions. Interference by politicians with bills like SB 1188 has the real potential of hurting children. Not only will SB 1188 have a chilling effect on single people coming forward to adopt children, it could result in a child being placed in a home that is not in their best interest.

“Children benefit from being placed in a safe, stable, loving, permanent home, including homes of single-parent families. Reading bedtime stories, making lunches, putting band-aids on skinned knees and allaying fears about monsters under the bed are all important, routine parental responsibilities that have a huge impact on the healthy development of a child. Children in foster care desperately need the love and support of a forever family. It doesn’t make sense to leave them in government homes when there are loving parents waiting to adopt them. The Legislature should not have muddied up the process a politically-driven policy like SB 1188.”

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Equality Arizona works to secure, protect, and defend the rights and welfare of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Arizona.