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Bill to streamline adoptions clears Georgia Senate
Butch Miller

The Georgia Senate passed a bill Thursday to streamline adoptions in the state after the measure failed last year when an amendment that critics called anti-LGBT was added.

“I am very encouraged that the bill is picking up momentum,” Sen. Butch Miller, R-Gainesville, told The Times.

The amendment that would have allowed private adoption agencies that receive taxpayer funding to exclude same-sex couples on religious grounds has been removed from the bill.

However, an additional amendment, which Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed in a separate bill last year, now appears in the adoption legislation.

It would allow individuals or nonprofit agencies to obtain power of attorney over a child without state oversight.

“The governor doesn’t support the bill in its current form,” Miller said.

But Miller added that he’s confident lawmakers can work with members in the House and the governor to get the adoption bill right this time around.

“We’re going to get it done,” he said.

Proponents have said the bill would make adoptions more efficient by, for example, nixing a six-month residency requirement for adoptive parents; allowing birth mothers working with an adoption agency to receive living expenses; and giving birth mothers the opportunity to waive a 10-day period to regain their child once adopted.