Attorney General settles same-sex adoption case

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Same-sex couples in Michigan can now adopt from state agencies without facing discrimination.

Attorney General Dana Nessel settled a lawsuit today started by two Michigan couples.

They say they were turned away from state-recommended adoption agencies because of their sexual orientation.

Those in the LGBT community say this move by the attorney general is definitely a step in the right direction and they’re glad to see her holding true to her campaign promises.

“Any time we can make it easier for people to adopt children and find homes for children, loving homes for children, I think that’s a win for everyone,” said Nick Royal, a coordinator in the LGBT Resource Center at Michigan State University.

Royal says growing up, he didn’t think it was possible to have someone in the Attorney General’s office advocating for his rights.

“I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have a role model and someone I can see myself in at such high level,” said Royal.
 
He says Nessel’s settlement in the same-sex adoption case is a step forward for his community.

“We’re very excited about the ruling today,” said Royal.
 
Under the agreement, the state will make sure adoption agencies that work with them won’t discriminate against same sex couples.

“This settlement is so important to children and to Michigan families because it prevents delays in critical and needed services to vulnerable children who’ve already been traumatized,” said Nessel.

Michaela Valo, an intern at the Salus Center, another LGBT group, says this decision is ultimately about keeping kids safe.

“It’s all about the children and we need to put them first, they rely on us to make sure that they’re safe and well cared for,” said Valo.

For those who might not agree with Nessel’s settlement, Valo says it’s important people put their own opinions aside and think about what’s best for foster children.

“We just have to put them first, so whether you support or believe it or not, you have to think, is this going to make a child happy at the end of the day?,” said Valo.

The decision also says that the state holds the right to terminate agreements with different adoption agencies that discriminate against LGBT couples.

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