February 8, 2021

The “Equality Act” Threatens Children Waiting to Be Adopted

By
Sarah Kramer

Children deserve our fiercest protection.

But a legislative priority of the Biden administration threatens a particularly vulnerable group: children in the foster and adoption care system.

When he was on the campaign trail, President Biden promised to push for the passage of the so-called “Equality Act” during the first 100 days of his term. And with a Democrat-controlled House and Senate, the passage of such legislation is more likely than ever before.

If the “Equality Act” becomes law, it would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as protected classes to laws prohibiting discrimination. And while proponents of this law claim it would promote “tolerance” or “inclusion,” in reality, it poses a serious risk to religious liberty.

And children waiting for loving homes will be collateral damage. How?

Because the “Equality Act” aims to decrease the number of organizations that are working to find children loving homes.

Take New Hope Family Services, for example.

New Hope is a faith-based pregnancy center and adoption agency that has been serving the community of Syracuse, New York for over 50 years. New Hope provides pregnancy tests, medical referrals, counseling, adoption planning, and even adoption placement. It counsels, advises, and walks with adoptive couples and birth parents alike to place children with loving families.

Its faith motivates it to serve its community—and it does so admirably. But its faith is the very reason that it has been targeted by the state government.

Because New Hope Family Services operates according to a biblical understanding of family—and strives to place children in a home with a married mom and dad—the state has decided to single out the adoption provider for punishment.

You see, supposedly in the name of “equality,” state officials have claimed that New Hope must start placing children with unmarried and same-sex couples, or else the State will revoke its authorization to place children for adoption. Essentially, the state has told New Hope to violate its beliefs or shut down its adoption services.

But that is an impossible choice for New Hope Family Services. So, it filed a lawsuit against the State.

When the government shuts down adoption and foster care providers such as New Hope simply for operating according to their beliefs, it’s the children that truly suffer.

Ultimately, this would mean fewer providers are working to find these children a home. And faith-based adoption providers excel at placing children who are often referred to as difficult to place—minority children, older children, sibling groups, and children with special needs.

With hundreds of thousands of children in foster care, why wouldn’t the government want to work with every organization available?

Unfortunately, government attacks on faith-based adoption and foster care providers are increasing.

Laws demanding that these organizations act against their beliefs have already forced Catholic Charities to stop their foster care and adoption ministries in Boston; Washington, D.C.; Illinois; San Francisco; and Buffalo. And the results are disheartening.

In Illinois, the state’s refusal to allow Catholic Charities to operate consistently with its beliefs resulted in that organization closing its adoption ministry, which resulted in more than 2,000 children being displaced.

And it’s not only the children who are harmed. Families and birth mothers who want to partner with an organization that shares their beliefs will no longer have that option.

These children and families deserve better than that.

The bottom line is that our laws must respect freedom and promote justice for every citizen, no matter who they are. But that is not what the “Equality Act” does. Instead, it threatens Americans’ fundamental liberties. And that is something no American should stand for.

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