|Action||Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/1/2011|
B. 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.
COMMENT: I feel this does not allow faith-based agencies to follow their beliefs in regard to sexual orientation, religion and family status when approving families for foster care and adoption, thereby impacting their ability to continue to operate in this state. Faith-based agencies serve an important role in the Commonwealth of Virginia by relieving the government of its burden in providing services to pregnant women. The loss of these services would negatively impact the Commonwealth. It would also negatively impact the birthparents’ ability to work with an agency that shares their beliefs, and their desire to place their child in a similarly faith driven family.
This provision also is not consistent with the Code of Virginia, which does not allow for the finalization of adoptions by unmarried couples, whether they are heterosexual or homosexual. Furthermore, our federal and state laws allow for religious freedom. Government should not prevent religious organizations from functioning in accordance with their beliefs.