Governor rejects child custody bill over safety concerns

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (CBSN)

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Nathan Deal has vetoed a bill allowing parents to transfer legal authority for a child to a family member or an outside agency, urging lawmakers instead to focus on comprehensive changes to the state’s foster care and adoption law next year.

Deal vetoed nine bills on Tuesday, which is the deadline for him to sign or reject lawmakers’ approved measures.

Deal, a Republican, says the bill was well-intentioned but creates a “parallel and unchecked” system to Georgia’s child welfare agency.

Changes to Georgia adoption law, last updated in 1990, stalled this year after Republican senators added language allowing agencies to refuse placements based on religion. Advocates said it was anti-LGBT.

Deal and other Republican leaders called for passage of the original bill, but the session ended in a standoff.

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