In October, Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, a gay couple who have three adopted children, will challenge Michigan’s ban on same-sex joint adoption before the U.S. District Court in Detroit. Basing their case on the precedents established by United States v. Windsor, which found the Federal Defense of Marriage Act’s restriction of the definition of marriage to “one man, one woman” unconstitutional, Rowse and DeBoer hope to convince the court that Michigan’s ban on adoption by homosexual couples is in violation of the right to due process. With the gay-rights movement gaining momentum across Michigan and the rest of the United States, overturning the ban is a logical decision for the state’s future.
Attorneys representing Michigan, led by Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, are disputing Rowse and DeBoer’s motion to challenge the law in court. However, their argument can only be described as inappropriate. In a brief filed earlier this month, Schuette claimed that Michigan has a legitimate interest in restricting child adoption to heterosexual couples in order to encourage “the unique procreative capacity of such relationships.” He goes on to say, “…social scientists have consistently recognized the essential connection between marriage and responsible procreation and childrearing.” Essentially, the state must exclusively sponsor opposite-sex marriages to promote population growth. This explanation is preposterous and doesn’t represent the state of Michigan.
Practically speaking, fighting this case continues the growing waste of the state’s resources and keeps vulnerable children from families. Most times, there are about 3,000 foster children in Michigan in need of a home. Continuing to fund these kids when there are families willing to care for them is careless spending and simply cold-hearted. Snyder should not allow his personal or his administration’s beliefs interfere with letting a child live in a positive environment. Baseless claims, like this one, are the cause of pointless arguing within Michigan’s government that takes up a great deal of time.
According to the Michigan Department of Human Resources, “Michigan has been recognized as a leader for our innovative approach to adoption and our high adoptive placement rates.” However, allowing this policy to continue is the contrary. Withdrawing Michigan’s legal defense of the ban on same-sex joint child adoption and instituting a fair procedure to allow these adoptions to occur needs to be the state’s course of action. Likewise, Schuette and his associates should be publicly censured for their abuse of science in the brief challenging the motion from Rowse and DeBoer.