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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Two moms or dads OK?

Gay and lesbian parents should be able to adopt their partner's child, said the American Academy of Pediatrics earlier this year. "Children who are born to or adopted by one member of a same-sex couple deserve the security of two legally recognized parents," the academy's journal states.

Adoption, which gives a child access to health insurance and Social Security benefits from both parents should either die, already is legal in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and the District of Columbia.

Susan Gregory, chief operating officer of Lutheran Social Services of Illinois, said: "If clinical judgment indicates that placement with a prospective adoptive family is in the best interest of a child, we don't discriminate based on the gender orientation of the parent in the home.

"We have no evidence that the gender orientation of a parent has a negative impact on the normal development of a child."

But Carol Hakala, director of adoption services for Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan, says the issue of same-sex adoptions is difficult since laws vary and professional groups disagree."As a Lutheran agency, we respond in faith," she said, "but when our faith community is also struggling with this issue, we're left alone to make difficult decisions in the best interest of each child."


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