The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan applauded the passage of the Second Parent Adoption Bill through the House Judiciary Committee today and encourages the State House of Representatives to do the same.

On Wednesday, May 9, 2007 House Bill 4259, the Second Parent Adoption Bill, passed out of the House Judiciary Committee, by a vote of 8-5.  The bill would allow two unmarried persons to jointly adopt a child, if it is found to be in the child’s best interests.

Michigan’s current adoption law specifically permits married couples to jointly adopt children, but says nothing regarding the right of two unmarried people to do so.  Many judges have interpreted the current law as permitting only married couples to jointly adopt. This has left children without the legal protection of two parents and puts them at risk should the legal parent become incapacitated or die. 

House Bill 4259 would ensure that all children can be provided with the financial, legal and emotional security of two parents, regardless of the parents’ marital status.  This bill ensures that children will be provided with the financial support, medical insurance, social security and pension benefits and medical authorizations by both parents.

The Bill would also provide savings to Michigan tax payers by decreasing the number of children in temporary foster homes and facilities, and by decreasing the number of children relying on Medicaid.