Is the Trump Administration Ready to Protect the Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Adoption and Foster Care Agencies?

Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies that receive federal funding are under siege.

The homosexual lobby has targeted them (and Christian business owners) for opposing homosexual “marriage.” The people who run Christian adoption and foster care agencies believe what the Bible teaches about homosexuality: it’s a sin. They seek to place children in Christian homes with a man and a woman married to each other.

Children generally are better off living with their married biological parents. Children from female-headed households, for example, face a higher risk of being disciplined at school, failing to graduate high school, becoming pregnant as teens, and ending up in prison. For children who can’t live with their biological parents, faith-based agencies prioritize placing them with two married adoptive or foster-care parents.

Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia is in litigation over this issue. Catholic Charities in Michigan is dealing with this as well.

But federal help may be on the way.

CBN News reported that the Trump administration will propose protections for these organizations. An excerpt (emphases added):

Health and Human Services will introduce new federal rules detailing that faith-based groups only need to adhere to nondiscrimination provisions passed by Congress, not any previous agency regulations. Back in 2016, the Obama Administration added sexual orientation language to an HHS rule, forcing faith-based groups to choose between their biblical beliefs on marriage or receiving federal money to serve their communities.

Since the new rule would apply to only laws passed by Congress, that means faith-based groups would have to comply with the three main federal laws on equality: the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. All of them protect citizens against religious discrimination but none of them mention sexual orientation.

In the days before President Obama left office, HHS added the controversial regulation with language covering sexual orientation. The Trump Administration rule would make that regulation null and void. Currently, if faith-based groups want to apply for federal funds, they must request a waiver from the Obama rule. The proposal, that will be announced Friday, is the first step in the regulatory process. There will be a time for public comment before it goes into effect. It is expected to be challenged in court.

From HHS:

The proposed rule represents the Trump Administration’s strong commitment to the rule of law―the Constitution, federal statutes, and Supreme Court decisions. These require that the federal government not infringe on religious freedom in its operation of HHS grant programs and address the impact of regulatory actions on small entities.

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One comment

  1. Of course, there is no guarantee that these “Christian” homes will practice what they preach and provide a loving an nurturing environment for these adopted children.