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Friday, September 22, 2023

New bill to jeopardise work of Christian agencies

By: V4 Agency

So far, Christian adoption agencies have had the right to deny the placement of children with certain families, if their values were in conflict with the agency’s own religious convictions or policies. However, a recently adopted bill would deny them that right, effectively forcing them to place children with same-sex or transgender couples.

Until now, adoption agencies have been allowed to take religion into account and place children with families fitting their religious policies, such as with a Christian family. Apparently irritated by this practice, Virginia legislators have proposed a draft bill to change it.

The Virginia House of Representatives have recently passed a bill that would essentially put Christian adoption agencies at a serious disadvantage because of their views on marriage.

So far, agencies have been able to refuse the placement of children with particular families, “when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.” That is, a Christian agency may have chosen not to place a child with, for example, a same-sex couple.

As it stands, the draft bill would omit this section from the new legislation. The current regulations stipulate that adoption agencies cannot be discriminated against, for example, by being denied support or licensing for religious beliefs, or for their perceptions about marriage.

The Virginia Catholic Conference expressed concern about the passage of the bill, warnig that the removal of so-called “conscience” protection rules could jeopardise the work of Christian agencies with adoption and foster parent clients in the state.

In addition, agencies are also having to deal with mounting public pressure to include same-sex couples among their clients. If an agency refuses to do so, they risk severe discrimination and disadvantage.

This is the case in the legal battle of Philadelphia and the local Catholic Social Services – affiliated with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia – which has been brought before the Supreme Court. The city terminated its contract with them in 2018, citing that they should be required to work with same-sex couples.

The passage of the Virginia state bill could also mean that agencies would be required to place children in families that embrace gender ideology. For example, the little ones could only be sent to either same-sex, transgender, or  polyamorous families, Not the Bee‘s article points out.


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