Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation ensuring Michigan children up for adoption have the greatest opportunity to be placed in loving homes.
"The state has made significant progress in finding more forever homes for Michigan kids in recent years and that wouldn't be possible without the public-private partnerships that facilitate the adoption process," Snyder said. "We are focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup."
Adoption rates in Michigan have continued to increase in recent years. In Fiscal Year 2014, 85 percent of children in the foster system were adopted, up from 70 percent in 2011.
House Bills 4188, 4189 and 4190, sponsored by lawmakers from both parties -- state Reps. Andrea LaFontaine, R-Columbus Township, Harvey Santana, D-Detroit, and Eric Leutheuser, R-Hillsdale, respectively, help continue Michigan's successful placement of children with loving families by codifying current adoption practices within the state. Under the legislation, faith-based agencies that contract with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services can operate in accordance with their beliefs.
The bills also require child placement agencies that decline any services to prospective parents to promptly provide information and a list of alternative adoption agencies willing and able to serve them. They do not change current practices in Michigan, but prevent faith-based agencies from having policies forced on them that violate their religious beliefs, which have resulted in agencies closing in Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and Washington, D.C.