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Consumer health advocates urge governor to sign bill package; NY protests for Jewish democracy heighten as Netanyahu meets UN today; Multiple Utah cities set to use ranked-choice voting in next election.

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The Pentagon wants to help service members denied benefits under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," advocates back a new federal office of gun violence prevention, and a top GOP member assures the Ukrainian president more help is coming.

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An Indigenous project in South Dakota seeks to protect tribal data sovereignty, advocates in North Carolina are pushing back against attacks on public schools, and Arkansas wants the hungriest to have access to more fruits and veggies.

Lawmaker: Single People Deserve Equal Chance to Adopt

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Thursday, March 11, 2010   

PHOENIX - A bill giving adoption priority to married couples has passed the Arizona House and awaits a hearing in the Senate. But, at least one state lawmaker rejects the idea that a mom and dad are always the ideal situation for an adopted child, saying the law would be discriminatory and could lead to more children being placed on the adoption waiting list.

Kyrsten Sinema (D-Phoenix) says studies show special-needs children, for example, do better with single moms because they are generally better-prepared and usually have special training.

"The special needs of a child who has either medical problems or behavioral-emotional problems can cause great strain on married families, and so married couples who adopt kids with special needs are more likely to get divorced."

Sinema says Arizona law already prohibits unmarried couples from adopting, whether gay or heterosexual. Adoptions are limited to one person in the relationship.

"Gay single people will be discriminated against as will straight single people. But, they will be discriminated against equally."

More than 5,000 children currently are awaiting adoption, which Sinema says is far more than the total number of prospective adoptive parents - married or single.

"There are 2,500 kids who have what's called an adoption plan. These are kids who have been prepped and primed and are ready for adoption as soon as a suitable match can be found for them. There's an additional 2,500 who are in the queue who haven't even had the match process started yet."

In most cases, the bill would allow single persons to be considered only if a qualified married couple is not available. Last year, about a third of state adoptions involved single people, mostly women. Opponents of the proposed law argue too many Arizona children are on waiting lists for the state to be discouraging single people from adopting. The bill's sponsor is on record saying he does not want to lengthen waiting lists, but instead believes that, if a mother and father are approved and awaiting the opportunity to adopt, they should be moved to the front of the line.

The bill is HB 2148.




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