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  11:41 pm
Commenter: Barbara Rayle

Please do not discriminate against religious adoption agencies

My husband and I adopted our two children through a Christian adoption agency headquartered in Virginia.  We chose them because their beliefs and ours match, and because they had/have a fantastic reputation for handling adoptions effectively and with sensitivity to all concerned.  We felt that these two factors would make for a good, smooth adoption process, and we have been very happy with the results.  We have two beautiful children, and two former orphans have a home.

I was very concerned to read a news item about this proposed regulation, because if I understand it correctly it would force the agency we worked with - and others like it - to change their statements of faith and their policies or to leave Virginia.  This would have a terrible impact on the children and families that they serve.

I do not expect all adoption agencies to have the same beliefs or policies, and neither should the Virginia government.  One factor that helps to make for a successful adoption experience for all concerned is to find a good match between birth parent(s) (when involved), the agency, and the adoptive parents.  Given that religious faith is a driving factor for many who adopt - and for many birth parents who choose to place their children for adoption rather than choosing abortion - it should not be ignored or marginalized in the adoption process.  Currently, nearly anyone - gay or straight, Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Agnostic or Atheist, conservative or liberal - can find an agency to work with in Virginia that they would be comfortable with, and I like it that way.  Forcing all private agencies into the same mold would likely reduce the number of successful adoption experiences in Virginia, and thus reduce the number of children placed in loving homes.

Please do not descriminate against faith-based agencies in Virginia - in the name of nondescrimination.  Please do not force them to leave the state.  Please let them continue to work to place orphaned, abused, and neglected children in the loving homes they deserve.

CommentID: 17398