Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Social Services
State Board of Social Services
Minimum Standards for Licensed Private Child-Placing Agencies [22 VAC 40 ‑ 131]
Action Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ended on 4/1/2011
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3/29/11  10:49 am
Commenter: Robert Mackay, LDS Family Services

Faith Based Services should be Preserved

The proposed rules prohibit agencies from discriminating based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability and family status.  This blanket prohibition fails to recognize that some agencies are sponsored by religious organizations and that the mission of such Agencies is to place children with members of a specific Church or religious philosophy.  LDS Family Services is one such Agency.  Its mission is to place children with members in good standing of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Agency was formed by that Church and is sponsored by that Church for such a purpose.  Under constitutional principles of free exercise of religion, LDS Family Services is entitled to discriminate on the basis of religion.  The same is true of other agencies. 

The proposed rule should be revised to reflect the right of religiously-affiliated agencies to discriminate in adoptive and foster placement on the basis of religion.

CommentID: 16303