|Action||Adopt new standards for licensed private child-placing agencies.|
|Comment Period||Ends 4/1/2011|
Please do not implement the proposed adoption rule prohibiting discrimination by adoption agencies based on sexual orientation. While it sounds harmless, and we all know that bigotry is wrong, this rule will have an unintended consequence. Most of the adoptions that are carried out in Virginia are carried out by religious adoption agencies. They have a policy of placing children in the homes of people who share their religious tenets, because they assume that following a divine code will tend to make people better parents, better examples, and better people.
It falls squarely within the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, to religious freedom and to freedom of association, to allow religious adoption agencies to follow the dictates of their conscience. I cannot think of a more important application of the first Amendment, in fact, than a guarantee of the right to believe in God and worship Him in one's own way. Statist intrusion on freedom of conscience is reprehensible, even when it is dressed up in the clothes of anti-discrimination.
This rule will serve to drive out these highly successful agencies from the state of Virginia, and will result in far fewer babies finding loving homes. Implementing the rule will result in a costly court challenge, which the state will certainly lose, after spending millions of dollars dfending a poorly conceived and poorly written rule. Please don't do it.