Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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9/15/11  11:22 am
Commenter: Larry Harley, Foster and Adoptive Parent

No place for Government discrimination when considering the best interest of children

I am an attorney and an approved foster parent, having adopted two children who had been in foster care.  I also am very active in my local Lutheran church.  That said, vulnerable children need loving homes.  Period. 

Let's be honest here.  A movement is under way to permit discrimination in our foster care and adoption regulations in an effort to promote the views of certain faith based organizations.  I am all for religious freedom........but it is NOT the role of government to take sides in a religious debate.  When government decides to fulfill its mission through faith based organizations it must ensure that these organizations do not discriminate in the manner the governmental function is accomplished. Faith based organizations can discriminate all they want to in their "religious sphere", but they should not be permitted to discriminate in fulfulling a voluntary government function.  Religious freedom?  No faith based organization is required to assist the government in fulfilling its mission if they do not want to. 

Virginia has a severe shortage of qualified foster parents.  Some children wake each day wondering if they'll ever get to live with someone who loves them.  Our goal should be to expand the pool of qualified foster and prospective adoptive parents, not to shrink it.  Do the right thing.  Restore the anti-discrimination provisions to the regulations.


CommentID: 18353