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Indiana lawmaker
seeks to bar gays from adopting

Indiana lawmaker
seeks to bar gays from adopting

State senator Jeff Drozda is determined to prevent children from being placed in homes of gay and lesbian couples.

Spurred by a state court ruling that could open the door to adoptions by lesbian and gay couples in Indiana, state senator Jeff Drozda said Thursday he will introduce legislation in 2007 to bar same-sex couples from adopting, which would override any court decision. "I think we have an obligation to address and pass something that's much more clear to judges, lawyers, and families," the Westfield Republican said, according to a report in the Indianapolis Star.

A three-member panel of the Indiana court of appeals ruled on April 13 that unmarried couples can jointly adopt children. State attorney general Steve Carter has until Monday to appeal.

Two other appeals court rulings have established precedent in Indiana for co-adoptions by unmarried and gay couples. Those cases involved couples in which a child initially was adopted by one partner, rather than through a joint petition. Drozda said the lack of clear direction has been cited in court rulings. The result: Some judges approve joint adoptions by unmarried couples, while others deny them.

The April decision involved a Morgan County case in which a judge attempted to overturn the joint adoption of a child in Marion County by a lesbian couple. The women, who had served as foster parents to the girl since she was a newborn, maintained custody during the case. The judge argued he should have maintained jurisdiction because the child was the subject of a welfare case in his court at the time of the adoption petition. Though the couple also lived in Morgan County, state law allows adoptions to be filed in any county.

Same-sex couples can jointly adopt in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, according to Human Rights Watch, a national gay rights group. (The Advocate)

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