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Gov. Snyder signs law allowing adoption agencies to deny services over "sincere religious objection"

Gov. Rick Snyder
Governor Rick Snyder delivering his State of the State address Wednesday night.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed a set of laws that let adoption agencies refuse referrals that violate their beliefs.

The new Michigan laws allow agencies that take money from the state for placing children with families to turn away same-sex couples. There would have to be a sincere religious objection and a good-faith effort to refer the couples to another adoption service.

In his press release, Gov. Snyder said the legislation ensures “Michigan children up for adoption have the greatest opportunity to be placed in loving homes.”

From the press release:

“The state has made significant progress in finding more forever homes for Michigan kids in recent years and that wouldn’t be possible without the public-private partnerships that facilitate the adoption process,” Snyder said. “We are focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup.”

Snyder says adoption rates in Michigan have increased. He says in Fiscal Year 2014, 85% of children in the foster system were adopted, which is up from 70% in 2011.

The new laws are Public Acts 53, 54 and 55 of 2015.

Mark Brush was the station's Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.