Indeed, every child deserves a home. But I don't see how regulating adoption agencies that have certain religious beliefs to change how they operate will do good to anyone. It only forces these agencies to go against their beliefs or close down the good work they are doing in finding homes for children in need. Please allow all children the right to a happy home and also preserve religious freedom.
Other points to consider:
· Faith-based child placement agencies have a right, under federal and state law, to make decisions that are consistent with their religious beliefs, including their beliefs about marriage and family life. This right must be respected and preserved.
· Many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents hold these beliefs as well, and they have every right to work with agencies that share their values.
· Forcing agencies and individuals to choose between following their own values or following the proposed discriminatory regulation would be an unprecedented violation of religious freedom in Virginia. Religious liberty is foundational to our Commonwealth and our country.
· Faith-based agencies provide vital services to our communities. They must be allowed to continue the great work they are doing.
· On April 20, the State Board of Social Services correctly upheld the fundamental right of faith-based child placement agencies to continue their great work of helping children and families without governmental intrusion into the practice of their faith.