Proposed Bill Would Let Unmarried Couples Adopt

Franque Thompson

LINCOLN (KPTM) - Currently, unmarried Nebraska residents cannot legally adopt. A proposed bill would change that if passed.

LB380 would allow unmarried couples to jointly adopt.

A group supporting the bill spent Friday delivering postcards to state senators to push the legislation. The group also dropped off a petition with approximately 2,000 signatures, also supporting the proposal.

Tara Obner says current adoption law is not fair for her family, the state does not recognize her as legal guardian over kids living with her. "There's always that feeling of unease that if something were to happen to Erica, I don't have any legal right to my own children who I've been with before conception," she says.

Obner says she is running out of options. "We tried to be foster parents first and we couldn't be and we couldn't even go the single route, you know? I said ok, fine we're not a couple, I'm a single woman. They're like, 'no, can't do that either."

More than 100,000 children are in foster care across the country. Supporters say, with numbers like that, it's even more important for lawmakers to pass the bill.

"Not only will we be getting more children coming in to safe homes, but you'll be taking them out of foster care which could in turn save the Nebraska taxpayers more money," Obner says.

She says her fight is not over until she can become a legal guardian.

The bill will need 25 votes to pass.