Perhaps the weirdest twin story of all time occurred in Ohio. Identical twin boys were given up for adoption and were adopted by different families who didn’t know about each other. They ended up growing up only 45 miles apart. Their adoptive parents happen to name both of them James. Both twins married twice – their first marriages were to women named Linda. Their second marriages were to women named Betty. They both had a son that they named James Allen. They both owned dogs named Toy.
Lawmakers could again consider legislation that would. The bills would shield agencies that refuse to place children with particular families for religious reasons.
All Democrats in the state House voted against two similar bills last year before they died out in the Senate. But one of those Democrats says he has changed his mind on the issue and is now sponsoring one of the bills.
“I looked at it, what my faith teaches me, and what I know, and what my constituents have told me about what they feel and it’s something that I felt that I needed to take a stand on,” said Rep. Harvey Santana, D-Detroit.
Santana says he has no problems with same gays or lesbians adopting a child.
“I think that all children need a loving home,” he said. “However, we’re at the intersection between people’s faith and what they’re being told to do that interferes with their ability to morally practice their faith. And then having the state say you have to do this, there’s a problem there.”
Opponents of the legislation say it would allow agencies to discriminate against people who are LGBT. They say it would also undermine what is best for children.
Santana recently stopped caucusing with House Democrats, but he says that has nothing to do with his decision to support the measure..
There are numerous faith based adoption agencies that have chosen to close their doors rather than to place children in LGBT homes, which they say that they are opposed to based on their religious beliefs.
Each state has a law in place to allow an unharmed infant to be relinquished to the proper authorities, no questions asked. The National Safe Haven Alliance works with states to promote these laws and increase public awareness that options exist. Together, the Alliance and states work together to save the lives of innocent infants and to protect the lives of their mothers.
Since the first safe-haven law was enacted in Texas in 1999, all U.S. states, as well as the District of Columbia, have passed safe-haven legislation, and every state has reported lives saved through the existence of these laws. Due to less-than-perfect-reporting methods, we are unsure of the exact number but know that in the past decade, these laws have saved well over 1,000 infants.
The late 1990s had a surge in infant abandonments, many resulting in the death of these innocent babies. In response to these incidents, a movement erupted to allow parents to relinquish custody of unharmed newborn infants without fear of prosecution. At the time, parents risked criminal prosecution for neglect or abandonment.
“Baby Safe Haven” laws or infant abandonment laws were created to remove the potential for prosecution so long as children were given unharmed and given to proper authorities. Since the first law was adopted in Texas in 1999, each state across the US has enacted a Safe Haven law. While each state’s law is different, they all ensure the safety of newborn infants and the protection of parents who decide to properly relinquish their child.
Safe Haven laws have been remarkably successful. Unfortunately, babies are still illegally and unsafely abandoned, in part because women do not know that they have another option. It is important that these laws are widely promoted and that women in need are informed that they are not alone.