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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4/1/11  6:25 pm
Commenter: Kelley Way

Don't adopt this regulation!

This proposed regulation is ill-advised and will be detrimental to the state and the people of Virginia, especially the children.

First, there is no need for this regulation. Those who want to adopt or foster children and are denied by private organizations are not without recourse. There are other organizations they can turn to if they wish to care for children, such as the state government programs. This statute will only penalize such organizations for exercising their judgment in what they believe the best home for these children to be.

Second, this regulation will be harmful to adoption and foster care organizations. These organizations are largely non-profit, and would not be able to afford to defend themselves in court if they were sued for violating this law, even if they were not actually acting discriminatorily. In addition, religious organizations who object to same-sex unions will be forced to choose between their religious beliefs and the law, causing many organizations to close their doors. They may also sue the state for violating their freedoms of religion and expression.

Third,  this regulation will be harmful to the state. A regulation of this nature will create a whole new cause of action for plaintiffs, which will clog the courts even more than they already are. The state may also subject itself to First Amendment lawsuits by religious organizations affected by this statute. The state's foster care and adoption programs will also suffer as an effect of organizations closing their doors, increasing the number of children that need homes and have no other organization to turn to.

Fourth, this regulation will be harmful to the children. Arguments about the best environment(s) and families for children aside, the decrease of these charitable organizations means that it will be that much harder for children in a bad situation to find a good home. The increased burden on state programs and the remaining organizations means that it will take that much longer for children subject to abuse, neglect, and/or mistreatment to be helped, and they will have to endure that much more suffering.

For all of the foregoing reasons, please do not make this regulation into law. The organizations cannot afford it, the state cannot afford it, and the children certainly cannot afford it.

CommentID: 16944