US: Nevada changes foster care regulations to allow HIV positive foster parents
The Division of Child and Family Services in Nevada has revised its regulations for perspective foster parents, removing a requirement that stated foster parents are to be free of certain communicable diseases including HIV.
Last year, Lambda Legal submitted a petition to DCFS on behalf of a same-sex couple who were told the HIV status of one partner prevented them from serving as foster parents.
The petition asked DCFS to remove HIV and AIDS from the list of communicable diseases that prevents individuals or couples from receiving a license to foster children.
The petition also asked the division to consider removing other diseases from the list that also are not transmitted via household contact.
In the revisions, announced today, DCFS removed any reference to communicable diseases from the regulations pertaining to foster care.
Instead, the division requires that “each foster parent must be in sufficiently good physical and mental health, and be physically and emotionally capable, to provide the necessary care to children.”
Scott Schoettes, senior attorney at Lambda Legal, said in a release: “This change in the Nevada Administrative Code expands the pool of loving homes willing and able to take in foster children.
“Nevada DCFS recognized that its exclusion of people living with HIV from being foster parents was unsupported by medical science and discriminatory, and we are gratified that the department moved so quickly to update its regulations.”
Jill Marano, deputy administrator of DCFS Nevada, said in the release: “We look forward to opening our doors for more qualified, caring foster parents who can meet the needs of our children and youth.”
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