December 19, 2011
The Virginia Board of Social Services voted 5-1 on Dec. 14 on a new set of regulations allowing faith-based adoption agencies the right not to place children in households led by same-sex couples, WORLD News Service reports. Of the state's 81 private child-placement agencies, 42 are faith-based organizations. Under the new regulations, set to take effect in May, the only characteristics adoption agencies may not take into consideration when placing a child are the prospective parents' race, national origin and ethnicity. The state allows both single and married people to adopt or become foster parents, but not cohabitating couples. Though gay-rights activists characterized the move as discriminatory, Virginia law is actually silent on the issue of sexual orientation.