Blog Post

Time to Fight for Faith-Based Adoption Agencies!

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and other faith leaders across the country are calling upon U.S. lawmakers to support the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act which will prevent the government from discriminating against faith-based adoption agencies because of their religious or moral beliefs.

The Daily Caller is reporting on a letter sent by the bishops and signed by several non-profit organizations and other faith leaders to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, urging him to make this bill a priority.

“The Inclusion Act is needed because child welfare service providers are being subjected to discrimination because of their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions,” the letter reads.

“For example, certain religiously affiliated charities in Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and the District of Columbia have had to stop providing adoption and foster care services because of requirements to place children in households headed by two persons of the same sex.”

The Inclusion Act would override the kind of state non-discrimination statutes that forced many religious adoption agencies out-of-business who refused to violate their religious beliefs by placing children with same-sex parents. In Illinois alone, the closure of religious adoption agencies resulted in the displacement of 3,000 foster children, an amount equal to more than 20 percent of the state’s foster children.

How is this in the best interests of children?

In addition to leaving many more children without homes, these non-discrimination laws also result in sometimes overruling the choices of a birth mother who selects a certain adoption agency because it reflects her values.

“Single birth mothers often plan for adoption in those cases in which they cannot provide everything their child deserves,” the letter states. “A birth mother should have every opportunity to place her child with a family that reflects her values. Taking away faith-based agencies will reduce options, make the process for birth parents even more difficult, and potentially discourage adoptions.”

Not surprisingly, LGBTQ activist groups are opposed to the law, claiming that it allows taxpayer funds to be used to discrimination.

“The legislation uses the pretense of religious freedom to advance rather than bring an end to discrimination in the placement of children for adoption or foster care,” writes the Human Rights Campaign.

The bishops, and signatories from a long list of faith-based organizations from the Southern Baptist Convention to the Jewish Congregations of America and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, see things much differently and are urging lawmakers to make the welfare of the child their top priority.

"At a time when the opioid crisis is driving more children into foster care and adoption, we need all available agencies to assist with placing vulnerable children in stable homes. Faith-based agencies in particular excel at recruiting good families who can provide stability for children in crisis; that excellence is propelled by both the faith-driven mission of these agencies as well as their connections to houses of worship where they can recruit prospective foster and adoptive parents."

Seven states, including Texas, Alabama, and South Dakota, have passed laws that protect faith-based adoption agencies. A similar law is currently being debated in Oklahoma.

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