Bill would ban adoptions by unwed couples

March 2, 2009 at 1:38 PM

NASHVILLE, March 2 (UPI) -- A bill before the Republican-dominated Tennessee Legislature would ban adoptions by unwed couples -- gay or straight.

Supporters of the bill say it would place more children in "traditional" families, while critics say it would leave more children lingering in the state foster care system, The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville reported Monday.

Children in foster care usually have few people waiting to adopt them, said Adam Pertman, who heads the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, a New York group that works to develop better adoption policies.

"So would it be better for these children to wait for your personal notion of the ideal family to come along," Pertman said to The Tennessean, "or to put children who need homes into the homes of loving, responsible, stable adults who are willing to parent?"

The bill was introduced without reference to sexual orientation of adoptive parents after Tennessee's attorney general concluded in 2007 there was no legal basis in state law for a ban solely on gay couples adopting, the newspaper said.

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