Foster Care Slippery Slope.

We’ve debated and discussed the wisdom of allowing Gay and Lesbian folks to be foster parents. We’ve argued over the laws in various states prohibiting or allowing it.

Now, in Texas, the stakes are being raised.

On Thursday, March 6th, Rep. Robert Talton (R-Pasadena) filed H.B. 1911, which would “prevent the placement of a child in a foster home with any unmarried individuals”. Notice there is no discrimination on sexual orientation.

In 2001, 22.3% of CPS children were placed in the custody of relatives. This bill would require the state to prevent the placement of children with their own relatives if they happen to be unmarried.

“And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out …”

Whoa, that is messed up. That could not possibly go through. The state would be overburdened with children who could not be placed with their widowed grandfather or single godmother. Or with the divorced grandmother living with her unmarried children.

Is there no exception for relatives? That cannot possibly be the entire Act, can it?

While I disagree with the ruling, is it possible that it might actually end up being a good thing–if only to stimulate the debate on what is and isn’t necessary for fostering? When average Joe and Judy realize they can’t take in their sister’s kids because they don’t have a marriage certificate, perhaps they’ll be more willing to admit that it’s the intentions of the foster parents that matter, and not so much the living situation.

One can only hope…

Nope, sugaree, there is not exception. The entire act is to amend Section 42.042(e), with subjection (8):

sigh This is the sort of thing that makes people want to abolish marriage. I’m not one of them mind you; I love my wife and I love the idea that I’m married to her. But when legislation like this starts floating around, I can definitely see the point of the accusations of unfair privileges for married people.

This is one such privilege. What makes a home with a married couple so much more preferable than anything else? Abuse and neglect can occur there just as easily. I don’t see the point of this, unless it’s to discriminate against those who can’t legally get married. Which flat-out sucks.

Before I get to deeply into this… Homebrew or anyone else, any idea what the motivation behind this is? Has anything else been published about it? I looked a little, but couldn’t find any commentary on it.

Gee, I sure hope potential foster parents don’t already have any kids of their own, because they’d count as unmarried individuals, too…

What a stupidly-worded law.

Well the good news is that this bill seems dead on arrival. It “has no other legislators signed on as co-authors to date.”

When you can’t get even ONE other lawmaker to support your bill, I don’t think there is much chance of it passing.

Avalonian, I’d guess the motivation is bigotry. This same legislator has also introduced H.B. 194

I suspect the he realized HB194 might fail under “due process” and decided for a more broadly worded bill.

Jeez… that’s messed up, no question about it. I can’t say I’m exactly surprised, since I can’t imagine any other motivation to HB1911, but it’s still incredibly small-minded legislation any way you look at it. Even without the implied bigotry it’s small-minded.

The good news is that autz is probably right. I doubt that this bill is going anywhere. Of course, here in the state of Washington we’ve got people pushing for a public initiative stating that local initiative guru Tim Eyman is a “horse’s ass.” Think I’m joking? I-831 is real, and it might just make it to the voting booths at this rate. The point being, you never know what kind of silly shit is going to be made into law.

Wow. That’s really messed up! I cannot for the life of me imagine anyone thinking, “well, the kid is so much better off with married abusive parents than they would be with a loving, unmarried foster parent”. Duh.