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Adoption Benefits Increased for Veterans

Veterans may be able to soon use funds earmarked for “medical expenses” towards adoption expense reimbursement effective on or after March 5, 2018 according to the Federal Register.  

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NJ Gestational Carrier Bill Clears Senate Committee On Way to 2/15 Vote Before Full Assembly

Twice vetoed by Governor Christie, New Jersey’s Gestational Carrier Bill is scheduled for a vote before the full assembly on February 15.

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US Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch’s Dissent v. Same-Sex Families

According to this article, newly installed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch’s dissent in Pavan v. Smith demonstrates that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision establishing the same marriage equality for same-sex couples as for opposite sex couples may be subject to future attacks.

Pavan v. Smith involved an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Courts in the State of Arkansas refused to issue birth certificates of both same-sex married parents.  The U.S. Supreme Court, citing its Obergefell decision, issued an opinion that same-sex married couples must receive the same treatment as opposite sex married couples (ie., the spouse of the parent giving birth via an anonymous sperm donor can be added to the child’s birth certificate) in accordance with Obergefell.  In essence, had the couples been opposite sex, the State of Arkansas would have issued the birth certificates and now must do so for same-sex couples pursuant to Obergefell.  

Justice Gorsuch dissented insisting that the State had a biological reason entitling the State to the benefit of at least presenting its argument before the US Supreme Court.  This dissent is troubling because opposite sex married couples who are artificially inseminated with gametes from an anonymous sperm donor (ie., wives) are permitted to have their non-biological husband added to their child’s birth certificate, but Justice Gorsuch was arguing that non-biological men should be treated differently based on the gender of the person whom they married.  

This dissent signals Justice Gorsuch’s intention to (a) lead the conservative judicial movement; and (b) weaken Obergefell.

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Texas – Faith-Based Adoption Agency’s Religious Beliefs Trump Child’s Best Interest

According to this article, a bill in the Texas House just passed permitting faith-based adoption agencies to reject adoptive parents based on the agencies religiously held beliefs.   It has been argued that the rejections may include gay, divorced, non-Christian, Jewish, etc. 

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Nebraska Supreme Court – Rejects State’s Ban on Gay Adoption; Holds It’s Akin to ‘White’s Only” Racial Discrimination

The Nebraska Supreme Court released an opinion on Friday, April 7, 2017, denying the State’s request to reverse the Nebraska Judge’s holding that the State’s ban on gay adoption was unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court also awarded legal fees in excess of $150,000 to attorneys representing the adoptive families, and clearly stated that a gay adoption ban was akin to ‘White’s Only” racial discrimination signs.

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TurboTax Adoption Tax Credit Issue Identified

According to this FAQ, there is an issue with the adoption tax credit and Turbotax for some adoptive parents.  

 

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South Carolina -> Federal Court Orders State to Issue Child’s Birth Certificate Reflecting Names of Both (same-sex) Parents

On Feb 15, a federal court Ordered South Carolina to create a birth certificate reflecting the names of both of the child’s (same-sex) parents.

 

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South Dakota -> Religious Freedom Bill Proposed Permitting Discrimination against LGBT Families by Adoption Agencies

A proposed bill  in South Dakota would allow adoption agencies to cite religious freedom as grounds to deny services to LGBT families according to this report.   

You may follow the bill as it goes through the legislature here.

 

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Upper House Speaker of Russian Parliament Signals Signals Weakening of U.S. Adoption Ban

One day after the European Court of Human Rights awarded compensation to U.S. adoptive parents for halting adoptions of Russian children and banning adoption by U.S. families, the Upper House Speaker of the Russian Parliament signaled that it was possible that the ban could be lifted if the U.S. would guarantee the health and safety of Russian children adopted by families in the United States according to this article.

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Texas Court Rules for Legal Dad in Mom v. Non-Medical Artificial Insemination Dad Fight

A Texas lesbian mom who conceived her child with donor sperm from her friend through “nonmedical artificial insemination” was not successful in her fight to prevent the sperm donor dad from being recognized by Texas as the child’s legal father. ¬†Apparently, the sperm donor dad provided a donation in a cup that was then used by mom for artificial insemination. ¬†The court opinion held that “because father did not provide sperm to a licensed physician for the purpose of artificial insemination, we hold that father is not a donor as that term is defined in section 160.102(6) and therefore may be named as a parent” to the child.

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