Barack Obama has
expressed his support for same-sex couples' right to
adopt children, according to the Family Equality Council.
The group had sought to learn the presidential
candidates' positions on the topic, and only Obama
responded. However, John McCain has previously
expressed his opposition to adoption by gays in a July 13
New York Times article.
"We also have to
do more to support and strengthen LGBT families,"
Obama wrote in his letter to the group, dated August
1. "Because equality in relationship, family, and
adoption rights is not some abstract principle;
it's about whether millions of LGBT Americans
can finally live lives marked by dignity and freedom.
That's why we have to repeal laws like the Defense of
Marriage Act. That's why we have to eliminate
discrimination against LGBT families. And
that's why we have to extend equal treatment in our
family and adoption laws."
Obama also touted
his plans to expand the Family Medical Leave Act, pass
laws to prohibit caregiver discrimination, and encourage
businesses to allow more flexible schedules for
While McCain and
his wife, Cindy, have an adopted child, he said to the
Times, "I think that we've proven that both
parents are important in the success of a family, so no, I
don't believe in gay adoption. I encourage adoption
and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt
children. I encourage the process being less
complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And
Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents."
In McCain's home
state of Arizona, any unmarried adult can petition to
adopt a child; however, the law does not specifically
provide joint adoption by same-sex couples, according
to the Human Rights Campaign. There is also no
explicit ban on allowing a same-sex partner to petition
to adopt a child of the other partner. Florida is the only
U.S. state that bans all forms of adoption by gays.
According to the
Family Equality Council, same-sex parents are raising 4%
of all adopted children in the United States as well as 3%
of all children in foster care. (The Advocate)