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The right to parent

From a young age children are taught that everyone is different. That one child is not like any other. Different families, ways of living and nationalities are all among the differences that children encounter while growing up. The same holds true for the parents of these children. Each set of parents in society are unique individuals that provide their own distinctive values and outlooks on life as a resource for the family of which they are a part. It has become an American value to accept and embrace these diversities as the backbone of our society. It is the multitudes of different cultures, beliefs, and lifestyles in America that distinguish our country and society. Each individual in America has the right, freedom, and in fact, the responsibility to represent their own cultural, religious, economic, and social status for the rest of the country and the world to see and hopefully better understand. This vast representation of diversities among America's citizens is what makes American society unique, and the freedom as well as encouragement to do so is what makes this society the most liberated.

Why is it then, if our society is built on the principles of teaching and understanding diversity and individuality beginning with children at a young age, that a large number of citizens in this country desire to set boundaries for who can and can not effectively parent based on these very diversities? The state governments and the people who run them are weeding out large numbers of prospective adoptive parents based solely on issues of diversity. This surely is not due to a shortage of orphaned children who need homes. There are approximately 588,000 children in the foster care system in the United States today (http://cwla.org/programs/foster care/fact sheet.htm). 48,828 of those children will remain in foster care until they turn eighteen and are then considered to be adults. Another 17,608 of these children will be placed under

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