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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3/31/11  3:11 pm
Commenter: Pastor Boni Kreider

Must Revise the Discrimination Clause

To Whom It May Concern:

As an adoptive mother of 6, I believe the idea of adding “religion” and “sexual orientation” to the anti-discrimination code of the proposed regulation is in direct contradiction to our fundamental right of religious liberty. 

The proposed 22VAC40-131-170B states: “The licensee shall prohibit acts of discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, disability, or family status to: (1) Delay or deny a child’s placement; or (2) Deny an individual the opportunity to apply to become a foster or adoptive parent.”

This will mandate to a private agency that they cannot discriminate on these grounds and yet, religion is the foundation of many of these organizations.  Without church involvement, where would many of the social services of Virginia be?  It would also dictate that a birth mother cannot choose someone of her own religion to adopt her child.  Why would the State want to meddle with that?

This poorly added part of the overall legislation will cut down on the number of adoptions and close agencies – and nobody wants that.  Virginia has over 1000 waiting children and I don’t foresee that this piece of legislation would increase the adoption rate.  Ultimately, we want to help the children and this does not. Lets redo this part of the legislation.

Thank you for your time and consideration and your continued fight for permanent, loving homes for our parentless children.

CommentID: 16383