A lawyer for a lesbian couple in Kansas City has asked a judge to overturn the state’s refusal to let them become foster parents. Lisa Johnston and her life partner, Dawn Roginski, started the process to become foster parents in 2003. Their lawyer, Lisa Brunner, says they went through extensive home study, and attended seven of nine sessions of a training program for potential foster parents before the Department of Social Services told them they would not be approved because they are homosexuals. An administrative hearing judge later upheld the agency’s decision. But lawyer Lisa Brunner says there is no rationale behind the ruling, pointing out the state has no law or written policy in place stating homosexuals cannot be foster parents. She says the hearing officer also made his ruling on the basis of a state law that remains on the books, although the US Supreme Court has ruled a similar law in Texas is unconstitutional. Brunner says the state’s arbitrary policy does a disservice to almost 200,000 children available for foster care or adoption. The lawyer for the Department of Social Services refused to comment on the lawsuit and even refused to say how long the policy has been in place.
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