adoption

Rachel Hubbard / KOSU

Every year, the foster care system in the U.S. is home to nearly half a million kids. A debate is now brewing in state legislatures and Congress about the best way to get these kids in permanent homes and who has the right to take care of them.

Kris Williams and Rebekah Wilson have been dating for four years. They live together in a modest white house on the west side of Oklahoma City with their two dogs and Ozzy, Kris’s son from a previous relationship.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about Governor Fallin vetoing Senate Bill 1212 which would have allowed anyone over the age of 21 to carry a gun without a permit while signing Senate Bill 1140 allowing private adoption agencies to deny services to anyone based on religious preferences and the newly created and funded agency which will audit state agencies and decide how they should spend their money and which services to provide.

An LGBTQ group says the signing of a bill allowing for agencies to deny services on the basis of religion is disappointing, but not surprising.

Freedom Oklahoma Executive Director Troy Stevenson says Fallin’s signature on Senate Bill 1140 will make it harder for the 16,000 kids in state care to find homes.

He says he doesn’t understand the argument from supporters saying this will increase the number of agencies for kids to get adopted.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin managed to anger both gun-rights and LGBTQ-rights activists late Friday with two separate actions.

In a rare blow to the National Rifle Association, Fallin vetoed a bill that would have loosened gun laws in the conservative state. Had it passed, SB 1212 would have allowed gun owners to carry a firearm — either open or concealed, loaded or unloaded — without a state license or permit. About a dozen states have passed similar so-called "constitutional carry" laws.

Meredith and Martha Holley-Miers live in a brick row house in Washington, D.C. with their two kids and a big rainbow flag in front. The couple has been legally married for seven years — and together for 14 years.

When they decided to have a baby, they "went through a lot of time and a lot of money and a lot of heartache trying to get pregnant," Martha says. They used an anonymous sperm donor, and it took them many months. When Martha gave birth to daughter Janey — now a bubbly 8-year-old — in 2009, they knew that they'd need to put forth yet more time, money, and heartache.

Late Sunday and early Monday, Texas legislators advanced a version of the divisive "bathroom bill" regulating transgender students' restroom access and passed a law that would allow publicly funded adoption agencies to refuse to work with would-be parents based on religious objections.

The "bathroom bill" proposal, which would affect public schools, was introduced as an amendment to a bill about emergency procedures at schools. It passed the House on Sunday but still needs approval from the state Senate, which is expected to support it.

The U.S. Supreme Court, without hearing oral argument, has unanimously reversed an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that denied parental rights to a lesbian adoptive mother who had split with her partner. The decision is a direct repudiation of an Alabama Supreme Court decision that refused to recognize a Georgia adoption.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We usually think about adoption as a relationship solely between parents and children.

It's not.

Before same-sex marriage became legal across the United States, some couples would become parent and child — just on paper — to get rights they were otherwise denied.

That's what Sergio Cervetti and Ken Rinker of Doylestown, Pa., did years after meeting in the fall of 1965. Rinker was 19 at the time and just back from a trip to Europe with his student dance troupe. He says he felt invigorated by Cervetti, who was five years older and a composer.

Lawyers for a lesbian mother in Alabama are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision by Alabama's highest court refusing to recognize her parental rights under an adoption granted in Georgia.

V.L. and E.L., as they are referred to in court papers, are two women who were in a committed relationship for nearly 17 years. Although state law prevented them from being married, V.L. took E.L.'s name.