Missouri Senate Addresses Racial Considerations in Adoption Process

The Missouri Senate is expected to pass legislation that will take the issue of race out of the adoption process. The bill has already received first-round approval in the upper chamber. In the adoption proceeding, the Court must consider the best interest of the child. This bill would bar the court from considering the race or ethnicity of the child, the child’s biological parents, or the child’s prospective parents.

Senator John Lamping, an adoptive father of several children, has introduced the legislation as a means to take away an unnecessary obstacle in the adoption process. He believes this will help move more Missouri children out of foster care and into permanent homes.

Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal expressed reservation about the bill possibly alienating adoptive children from their cultural identity, “Now what is the mechanism, what is the encouragement for other families to bring their children or help educate their children into the culture from which they come from?”

After passing in the Senate, the bill will move into the House.

Tana Benner
Tana Benner is an adoption attorney with Columbia Family Law Group. Her practice is focused in the area of family law and she has particular interests in adoption and helping children and victims of domestic violence.