Senate approves bill establishing a right to foster, adopt by anti-LGBTQ parents in Tennessee

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03/22/2024

A bill that could lead to LGBTQ youth being placed in families with moral or religious objections to their sexual orientation or gender identity was approved by the Tennessee Senate on Tuesday. The Tennessee Foster and Adoptive Parent Protection Act would prohibit the Department of Children’s Services from excluding parents who have moral or religious objections to LGBTQ identity and want to foster or adopt a child in state custody. The bill would “not preclude” DCS from taking a child’s feelings into account before placing them in a family’s home — but does not require the agency to do so. Sponsors of the bill, including Rep. Mary Littleton, have said the measure would expand the pool of willing foster parents. Despite plain language in the bill that says that a parent with anti-LGBTQ beliefs would not be “contrary to the best interest” of a child — including one who is gay or transgender —Littleton said her intent was to ensure kids in foster care are matched with the most suitable parents.

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