VA Adoption Board Chair To Bigoted Colleagues: “We Are Creating Barriers For Children”

1. There is a large number of children waiting to be adopted into loving homes.

2. There is no evidence to suggest that all the classes of people not identified in the new regulations are not perfectly capable of providing loving, accepting home environments for children in need of adoption.

3. Effectively, this eliminates or at least reduces the chances of children to be placed in optimum and caring environments in a timely fashion. Children thus continue to languish in non-familial systems, losing precious developmental milestones as there are less than optimum number of ‘appropriate’ families.

Each day we put up barriers to the process of permanent placement, particularly which is not supported by science or data but a value system we are creating barriers for children in establishing strong, stable attachments and a lifelong pattern of stability and belonging as soon as feasible.

We should be inclusive and not exclusionary unless there is scientific evidence pointing the other way. At this point there is none and hence I cast the dissenting vote.”

—Bela Sood, Chair of the Division of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth Medical Center—and the lone member to vote against the Virginia Board of Social Services’ new guidelines allowing discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Images via VCU, MGD Photography