Suffer the Little Children: Adoption in Crisis

Most adoption and foster care providers, like most parents, put the needs of children first. But LGBT activists are once again showing that they are more concerned with the desires of adults than the needs of children.

This is not a new problem. Even before the Supreme Court attempted to redefine marriage, homosexual activists had begun to target Christian foster and adoptive families — and the organizations that serve them. They tried to run Bethany Christian Services out of Virginia, and successfully shut down Catholic Charities’ foster and adoption work in Boston, Illinois, and Washington D.C., disrupting families and threatening ongoing adoptions.

Reducing the number of child-welfare organizations in a state hurts children. Several states have acted to protect children, and this week Oklahoma became the latest. Legislators there introduced the latest state Child Welfare Provider Protection Act; like other state bills, and like the bill moving in Congress, this bill simply protects the rights of religious families and organizations to work together with like-minded partners, to serve children.

But the response was as swift as it was predictable; a LGBT pressure group with national ties accused lawmakers of “discrimination,” and the Washington Post breathlessly picked up the talking point. “Gay-rights advocates…say [the bill] will codify the ability of religious-based adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples seeking to adopt,” screams the lead.

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Did you catch that? It’s about the desires of adults, not the needs of kids.

Except the facts don’t bear that out. Oklahoma already allows adoptive parents to seek out like-minded organization; if Jewish parents, for example, wants to work with a Jewish organization, they can. Nothing in the bill prohibits anyone from adopting; as a spokeswoman for the state Department of Human Services said, same-sex couples are certified for adoption “all the time.” “If a private adoption agency decided not to certify someone” on the basis of their belief in natural marriage, “there are many options for families to choose from.”

Oklahoma officials deserve praise, not condemnation, for preserving Americans’ First Amendment right to voluntarily associate on the basis of shared beliefs. But more is protection is needed, and in more states; private charities, businesses, and government officials are already being targeted on the basis of their belief in natural marriage. All of them should be allowed to live and according to their deeply held religious beliefs or moral convictions.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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