Marriage Preferences in Adoption Law Model Legislation 3/2/05
An act relating to child welfare and adoption; specifying a preference for adoption by married couples for children in DCFS custody
Marriage and Adoption Law: a 50 state review 2/4/05
While all 50 states assert that adoption is
governed by the "best interests of the child,"
legal preferences for married couples in
adoption are rare. More states explicitly ban
"discrimination" based on marital status than
contain even mild preferences for marriage.
Five states (Alabama, Kentucky, Maryland,
New Jersey, New York) make it illegal to
prefer married couples in placement decisions.
Only one state (Utah) codifies a clear
preference for married couples in adoptions.
Recommendation: State legislatures should
codify appropriate preferences for married
couples (where available) in adoption law.