Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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10/11/11  5:44 pm
Commenter: Mary Cheston

Preserve Religious Freedom and Faith-Based Adoption Agencies

I ask that you uphold the April 20 State Board of Social Services decision and continue to permit child placement agencies to implement adoption policies based on their faith.  Race, color and national origin are sufficient criteria for sound placements.

Faith based agencies do phenomenal work in placing children for adoption.  In many cases, the placement families share common beliefs with these agencies, in particular religious beliefs regarding what constitutes marriage and a family.  These families should be permitted to seek assistance from like-minded child placement agencies.   Forcing families to chose between their religion and the law would violate religious freedom principles in the State of Virginia.

There are multiple options today for a family wishing to adopt. It is not necessary for an individual to seek help from a religious agency that may not share the same philosophy regarding sexual preferences as the individual does. 

Do not break a system that is not broken.  A change would force the closure of needed adoption agencies.  The Legislature and the State Board should remain committed to ensure that the maximum number of children in Virginia have the opportunity to find a nurturing home.  Adopting any policy change that would cause the closing of faith- based agencies, as experienced elsewhere in the U.S.,  does not make sense.



CommentID: 20774