|Action||Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.|
|Comment Period||Ended on 4/1/2011|
I am writing to express my strong opposition to the new regulations proposed by the Virginia Department of Social Services that clearly violate the rights of faith-based child welfare agencies. The proposed regulation 22VAC 40-131-170(B) is clearly an attempt to require Licensed Private Child Placing Agencies to accept any individual to become a foster or adoptive parent regardless of whether that individual shares the agency's moral beliefs. Agencies that do not comply would be in danger of losing their license and having to close.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has a long and proud tradition of citizens working together for the protection and care of children. Many children are adopted today through the help of faith-based organizations. This proposed regulation would silence one of the strongest voices for children in the Commonwealth. The proposed regulation is a clear violation of the Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion and an outright and backdoor attempt to elevate the desires of one group of citizens at the expense of many others.
One must ask why the public has not been informed of the Legal authority to require licensed adoption agencies to accept applicants based on "sexual orientation." Also request specifically the legal authority for the Department of Social Services to allegedly to add "sexual orientation" to its conditions affecting the licensure of adoption agencies.
Since sexual orientation is not limited to same sex attraction, the meaning of "sexual orientation" has clearly not been explained. Therefore, strongly oppose this language in the proposed new standard and that children not be denied their fundamental right to a family and that the Constitutional right to the free exercise of religion be upheld.