Changes in GA's adoption bill waits for Senate's approval

Changes in GA's adoption bill waits for Senate's approval

(WTVM) - State senators will soon decide to approve or reject the latest version of a bill that would make adopting easier in Georgia.

Georgia's State House unanimously approved House Bill 159's latest updates, by a margin of 168-0. In January, the Georgia Senate voted to adopt the legislation.

The bill, in part, also addresses the potential waiting period for couples to adopt children in foster care by reducing certain limits on age, country of origin and residency requirements.

Some senators say they may not approve certain provisions; examples include whether or not adoptive parents would be allowed to reimburse birth mothers' living expenses while caring for the child.

Another contentious point in this debate involves the inclusion of "religious liberty" provisions in the bill.

In 2017, a similar bill made its way through the legislature but fell short after some lawmakers added these provisions, which would have allowed faith-based adoption agencies receiving state funding to avoid placing children with same-sex couples.

Supporters have argued the bill would help create more adoption agencies and allow private ones some flexibility when it comes to placing children. Critics said it would discriminate against the LGBT community.

Last year, Governor Nathan Deal publicly opposed the addition of religious liberty measures.

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