Nationwide LGBT Assault on Christian Adoption and Foster Care Agencies Flares Up
LGBT activists across the country are pushing back against Christian charities' freedom to abide by the dictates of their consciences, specifically on the issue of adoption and foster care. Many Christian adoption agencies refuse to place children with same-sex couples or in environments that reject Christian teachings, especially on sexuality. In recent weeks, this struggle has flared up across the country.
In Texas, a lesbian couple sued the federal government and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops after Catholic Charities of Fort Worth refused to help them adopt a child. South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster sent a letter to Miracle Hill Ministries after a state department ruled the ministry had to place children with non-Christians, in violation of its principles and longstanding practice.
The Georgia state Senate passed a bill enabling faith-based adoption agencies to choose not to work with LGBT couples. State Sen. William Ligon, the bill's sponsor, insisted, "Just because you are a faith-based organization, doesn’t mean you have to check your faith at the door and cannot participate in government programs."
LGBT activists vehemently disagree, and have waged a battle on religious freedom for years. In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston decided to shut its doors after Massachusetts redefined marriage and banned "sexual orientation discrimination." That year, Catholic Charities was also forced out of San Francisco.
After Washington, D.C. redefined marriage in 2010, the nation's capital told Catholic Charities it would no longer be an eligible foster care and adoption partner, due to its support for traditional marriage and its policy of placing children with a mom and a dad. Affiliates in Illinois had to close down as well, because they had to place children with same-sex couples to receive state money.
The LGBT agenda has made it harder for needy children to find families in Massachusetts, San Francisco, Illinois, and even the nation's capital. Children are already suffering because charities are taking a backseat to LGBT "inclusion."
Miracle Hill Ministries in South Carolina has become one of the largest private foster-care providers in the state, with 161 children receiving care at the current time. In 2017, 31 children were permanently adopted by the families fostering them.
"For 29 years, Miracle Hill has gladly served all foster children of any race, national origin, religious beliefs, sex, disability, or political belief," foster parent Betsy Tanner wrote in a Greenville News op-ed. "And for 29 years, Miracle Hill has recruited foster families who share its nondenominational Christian religious beliefs. Miracle Hill has always been clear regarding its religious identity and conviction that all staff — paid and unpaid — are followers of Jesus Christ."
In 2017, however, that changed. The South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS) reinterpreted federal and state regulations to say that Miracle Hill does not have the freedom to require foster families share its religious beliefs.