Nathan Deal calls for ‘clean’ adoption bill: “We should have had a clear, straight path’

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Gov. Nathan Deal with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Clearly, one of the hurdles that stand between the Legislature and sine die this evening is a rewrite of Georgia adoption law that stalled after the Senate attached “religious liberty” language that would offer legal protection to child placement agencies who don’t, among other things, want to deal with gay parents.

Late last night, the House abandoned its original HB 159 and placed its contents into a new vehicle, SB 130. The Senate has yet to act, and appears to be extracting a high price.

This afternoon, Scott Slade, host of GPB’s “The Lawmakers” interviewed Gov. Nathan Deal on the topic. The governor has expressed serious objections – and did so again in the today’s interview, which was just broadcast. A bit of the transcript:

Deal: “Unfortunately, the Georgia record is that it takes an exceptionally long period of time for a child to become adoptable in our state. We have one of the longest waiting periods of any state in the country. And that’s not good, because children held in limbo for these periods of time, should not have to do so and wait unnecessarily for a good home.

 

“So this bill would have gone a long way toward clarifying that. The adoption laws have not really been revised in about 27 years. And I thought it was time that we did that. I want to commend Rep. [Bert] Reeves for his exceptionally hard work in putting this bill together and pushing it forward. I was hoping that it would pass as a clean bill, as it passed the House.”

 

Slade: “And by clean bill, you’re talking about some of the language that got injected [in the Senate], in this case the ‘religious liberty’ issue. How do you feel about that?”

 

Deal: “I did not feel that this was an appropriate amendment to it. I felt like it opened up a big area of controversy that we did not need. We should have had a clear, straight path for a child to be put in an adoptive home where their life could hopefully be transformed from what they have gone through…”


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