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Faith-Based Foster Care Organizations Still Under Attack

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(Action item at the end of the article.)

For thousands of children trapped in the foster care system, faith-based child adoption and foster care agencies are a ray of hope. These organizations provide an invaluable service, placing parentless children into loving homes. But in recent years, these organizations have been under attack. Because they choose to operate in line with their sincerely held religious beliefs, government entities are trying to shut them down. Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) has introduced a bill that would allow these agencies to continue helping children and families without compromising their values.

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act would protect faith-based agencies from being discriminated against purely for having religious convictions. It would prohibit the federal government and any state that receives certain federal funding from attacking any child welfare service provider on the basis that the provider declines to provide or facilitate, any services that conflict with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.

The idea that these faith-based agencies should not be allowed to follow their religious beliefs was the issue on trial in the 2020 Fulton v. City of Philadelphia Supreme Court case. In that instance, the city of Philadelphia stopped placing children with agencies that worked with Catholic Social Services (CSS). Although CSS works with all children regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, they cannot, as Christians, endorse same-sex marriages or unmarried couples, and so will not place children in those homes. Fortunately, the Supreme Court justices ruled unanimously in favor of foster care partners operating in accordance with their sincerely held beliefs.

Many in the adoption and foster care world believed that the Fulton decision would be the end of the discussion, but the attacks on Christian organizations have continued. Early in his term, President Biden rescinded waivers granted during the Trump administration to South Carolina, Texas, and Michigan that protected faith-based foster cares in those states.

More recently, the Administration announced a proposed rule that will require foster parents to “utilize the child’s identified pronouns, chosen name, and allow the child to dress in an age-appropriate manner that the child believes reflects their self-identified gender identity and expression.” Those who refuse to comply will be deemed “unsafe” and rejected as foster parent candidates.

These attacks are why the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act is necessary. The government has proven that it cares more about pushing the false gender ideology than ensuring that the 391,000 children currently in foster care are placed in safe and loving homes. No organization should be targeted purely because of their religious beliefs, especially ones that provide such life-giving service.

This bill protects children and champions religious liberty. Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is proud to endorse it. Call your senators and ask them to support S. 3344, the Child Welfare Inclusion Act, using our action center here.