Congress has introduced a new bill known as the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which would allow for adoption discrimination across the country under the guise of religious freedom.
I am a Christian, but I am also a firm believer that every human has the right to happiness, love, and family regardless of their race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender, whatever. People are People – end of discussion. When I see an injustice underway, I add my voice along with others to bring about a change in our society.
Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) have introduced a new piece of legislation known as the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act in both the Senate and the House, which would allow for adoption or foster care providers to refuse service on the basis of their personal religious objections—the consequences of which would be immediate, random, broad and disastrous.
If the current form of this bill becomes law, it would entitle religiously affiliated adoption or foster care agencies to a vast display of discrimination against potential applicants based on sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status and religious affiliation.
For example, if a straight Christian couple sought to adopt from a non-Christian adoption agency, they could be denied.
If a single parent wanted to foster a child in need, they could be denied.
If a committed gay or lesbian couple wanted to expand their family, they could be denied.
What Happens to the Children?
I am not against religious freedom, please do not think that. I am against children being kept in a foster home, orphanage, or being a ward of the state, stuck in an institution somewhere and unable to be placed with loving parent(s) because a particular social worker or an agency has an “issue” with someone’s sexual orientation, their religious background (or lack thereof), or their choice in partner.
Your job, as a social worker or child welfare agency, is to find a loving, supportive, nurturing home where that child can have the love and attention that he/she so rightly deserves. Many of these children have had a difficult life, and they need to feel as though somebody cares about them.
A lot of these children who remain wards of the state, end up being shoved out of the system when they turn 18 and are left to their own devices to survive. There is a great article that our local Richmond Times Dispatch did entitled, “Foster Kids ‘aging out’ too soon?” where they talk with a number of foster children and what they are going through. A quick check of AdoptUSKids.org showed 16 children in the state of Virginia (based on biracial selection only as my children are biracial) between the ages of 14 and 17 that are looking for parents. There was one 10-year-old boy on the list.
Why? Why would you deny these children two parents, a single parent, that wants them because they happen to be a same-sex couple, or a single person, or agnostic? What does one have to do with the other? Can single parents not love as well as two parents? Do same-sex couples not love as well as a male-female couple? That is just wrong on so many levels.
Join with me – for the reasons I mentioned or for reasons of your own – and tell your member of Congress that you wholeheartedly disagree with this blatant endorsement of potential discrimination by taking action today. Send them a message to vote NO against S. 2706/H.R. 5285. You can use the form here to send a letter to your congressman electronically from the Human Resources Campaign.