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9/21/11  12:25 pm
Commenter: Deborah Mitchell

Preserve Religious Freedom
 

Virginia Board of Social Services:

Respectively please reject any regulation that discriminates against faith-based placement agencies for the following reasons listed below.

 

 

·         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.

·         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

 

 

In Virginia, individual homosexuals can already adopt and there are public and private agencies that facilitate those adoptions.  Adding discriminatory language to the regulations would not increase the number of children being adopted into homes, it would decrease it by forcing the majority of private child placement agencies, which are sectarian, to cease fulfilling their mission or violate their faith.

 

This proposed regulation also places undue restrictions on birthmothers and consequently adoption agencies.  Within the confines of an adoption conducted through a private agency, a birthmother is due the freedom to choose an adoptive parent of the same religious convictions so that her child may be raised accordingly.  Consequently, private adoption agencies are deserving of the ability to screen adoptive parents based on the agency’s beliefs or the beliefs of their birthmothers.

 

Thank you for your graciousness!

 

 

God Bless,

Deborah Mitchell

CommentID: 18789