Keep Religious Dogma Out of Adoption and Foster Care Decisions

Dear Friend of CFI,

One of the worst excesses of religion is when it is used to justify discrimination against the most vulnerable members of society. It is hard for many of us to even imagine turning away an orphaned child from a stable home just because they or their parents are LGBTQ, but religious foster homes and adoption providers do this all the time. They turn away LGBTQ parents, and some even turn away LGBTQ children. That’s why CFI supports the Every Child Deserves a Family Act (H.R. 3114), which would outlaw religious discrimination in adoption and foster care against LGBTQ parents and children. This bill was just reintroduced in the House by civil rights icon Representative John Lewis.

Imagine being kicked out of your home as a teenager for being LGBTQ and then being shuffled from one foster home to another only to be told that it’s against someone’s religion to place you in a stable, loving home. This situation is unconscionable, but it’s reality for thousands of foster children. Research has found that the percentage of LGBTQ youth in the foster care system is double the percentage in the general population. But even though they are overrepresented in foster care, they are less likely than other children to be adopted.

Prospective parents of the “wrong” sort face discrimination as well, even though the greatest obstacle to placing foster children in adoptive homes is the lack of willing, qualified parents. There are nearly 400,000 children in the United States in foster care today. Each year, 23,000 of these children turn eighteen and “age out” of the foster care system. Yet when a federally funded Christian adoption agency in South Carolina turned away a Jewish couple seeking to adopt a child, the Trump administration gave them a waiver to continue discriminating on the public dime. It’s all part of the religious Right’s effort to make their religion the law of the land, piece by piece. As it stands, only fourteen states and the District of Columbia have laws to prevent discrimination against prospective parents.

The religious entities that turn away willing families because they are the wrong religion, the wrong sexuality, or the wrong marital status are bringing out the absolute worst of religion: elevating dogma over the health and safety of orphans. We need to put a stop to this inhumane, archaic practice. Please use our action alert system or call your representative today and tell them: Please cosponsor the Every Child Deserves a Family Act!

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