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News – Nov. 18, 2011

The Government Should Stop Discriminating Against Religious Adoption Agencies

By Sarah Torre

Kelly Rosati, whose four children joined her family through foster care adoption, knows first-hand the pain and difficulties caused by a broken child welfare system.

“These are kids who wake up every day not knowing if they are going to be moved that day, who have no permanence in their lives,” Rosati said. “Many of them have only known neglect, abuse and abandonment.”

“Because we don’t have orphanages in America,” she says, “we think we don’t have orphans—but we do.”

Every year about 400,000 children spend time in our nation’s foster care system, with roughly 100,000 eligible for adoption, as we point out in our recent Backgrounder. Many bounce from home to home and are never adopted. Many will “age-out” of foster care, facing increased risk for low academic achievement and poverty.

And yet various states have adopted policies that would require faith-based providers to place children with same-sex couples, in violation of some agencies’ deeply held beliefs that children deserve a mom and a dad – effectively forcing these agencies out of adoption and foster care service. These policies do nothing to help children and unnecessarily limit the number of good agencies working on their behalf.

On Wednesday Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Pa. and Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which would protect the right of child welfare providers, including private and faith-based adoption and foster care agencies, to continue providing valuable services to families and children. The federal government and states receiving certain federal child welfare funds would be prohibited from discriminating against a child welfare provider simply because the provider declines to provide a service that conflicts with their religious or moral convictions.

This is good policy. The efforts of faith-based organizations and the work of more than 1,000 private, licensed foster care and adoption providers across the United States are helping to increase the number of children adopted every year.

Read more: The Daily Signal



 

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