The Supreme Court decision to extend constitutional protections to same-sex married couples has not ended the struggles that many of these families are still facing. When it comes to same-sex adoption and parental rights, there remains much work to be done. New York families have many protections under state laws, but there are still situations when these couples encounter difficulties.
Recently, a federal court judge ruled that a case filed by two same-sex couples regarding a state’s contract with religious adoption agencies has merit and can continue on through the courts. The state filed a petition for the case to be dismissed, but that motion has been denied as the judge ruled that the petition for dismissal did not appropriately address the issue over which the lawsuits were filed. The suits are not filed over religious discrimination but rather over the state’s decision to silently condone such discrimination through funding.
The matter is over Michigan’s passing of a law in 2015 that permits religiously-affiliated adoption services that receive tax-payer funding to continue to practice discrimination against same-sex couples. The lawsuit filed by the two couples specifically addresses the issue that the state, which is prevented from engaging in religious discrimination of gay couples, has knowingly contracted with religious adoption agencies to carry out a public service when it is fully cognizant of the fact that said agencies practice discrimination. The state’s rebuttal did not properly address the essence of the lawsuit and is therefore given the green light by the federal judge to move forward.
Michigan claimed that contracting with these agencies would provide more children with an opportunity to find homes, but since these services will not consider a same-sex adoption, there are less available homes for children in need. The couples who filed the suit have been denied adoption services. New York families who encounter difficulties with family law matters are entitled to consult with an attorney who routinely handles these matters with a successfully.