Lawmaker suggests audit of Kansas child welfare agency’s treatment of same-sex couples

A Kansas lawmaker said he will seek an audit to determine whether the state Department for Children and Families discriminates against same-sex couples in foster care and adoption cases amid questions about why a Topeka councilman and his wife were granted custody of a child who had been cared for by a lesbian couple for 11 months.

The effort from Rep. Jim Ward, a Democrat from Wichita, comes after the Topeka couple, Jonathan and Allison Schumm, were charged in November with one count each of aggravated battery and four counts of endangering a child. The Department of Children and Families had recommended the couple receive custody of a child who had been in the custody of Lisa and Tesa Hines of Wichita.

Ward’s request also comes after a legislative hearing last month during which some lawmakers questioned whether same-sex parents should be allowed to foster children.

Ward said Wednesday he will ask for the audit Dec. 10, when the Legislative Post-Audit Committee meets, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1lwH3Uj ).

“It never made any sense that a child, an infant, who had bonded with foster parents was going to be pulled from those foster parents to be placed with a family that already had, as I recall, 13 children,” said Kari Schmidt, attorney for the Wichita couple, Lisa and Tesa Hines. “It just defied logic. Why would you do that?”

Source: http://www.startribune.com/kansas-lawmaker-calls-for-audit-of-child-welfare-agency/360166701/