Miss Capital City Rallies for Equal Rights for Adoptive Mothers - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Miss Capital City Rallies for Equal Rights for Adoptive Mothers

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November is National Adoption month and with only two days left, the newly crowned Miss Lansing is planning to continue the work she's done in promoting adoption rights.

Emily Kelisheski was crowned this month as Miss Capital City, perhaps, fittingly so. Emily comes from a blended family with three adopted brothers and two biological siblings.

"There's Colin, Conner and Colby," she says. "As a family, we don't make distinctions between the biological and the adopted children, I didn't think it was right for employers to be the ones to designate that difference."

When Emily's mother adopted her first son, the state didn't allow paid maternity leave because Colin wasn't her biological child. So at age 12, Emily went to her then Congressman Matt Gillard.

"I'll be honest with you, it was an inspiring moment, it really was. I remember Emily coming in with her mother," Gilard said. "She came to me about it with what I thought was a valid and appropriate concern. We had the legislation drafted, we actually had Emily a couple different occasions in Lansing to testify."

After years of lobbying and three attempts, Emily's bill passed the House made it to the Senate committee and died. But Miss Capital City says she's not done fighting.

Emily says she still has one goal to accomplish.

"I think my mom was really heartbroken and that's why it was so important to make a change, and that's why I'm still working on it now."

She says she has a few more connections in the Michigan legislature now and equal maternity leave for mothers with adopted children will be her first priority as Miss Capital City.

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