Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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9/26/11  11:03 am
Commenter: Neal Cummings

Preserve Religious Freedom

I believe that on April 20th the State Board of Social Services correctly upheld the right of faith-based child placement agencies to make decisions which are consistent with their religious beliefs, especially those beliefs related to marriage and family life.  There are many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents who have the desire, and I believe a fundamental right, to choose an agency which not only shares but promotes their same values.  Forcing an agency or individual to choose between following their core values or following the proposed discriminatory regulation would be a gross violation of religious freedom in Virginia and also runs counter to the religious liberty which is the foundation of our Commonwealth and our nation.  As adoptive parents of 2 boys, my wife and I chose to work with a religious agency that was consistent with our beliefs.  Our son's birthmother chose to work with the same faith based agency as well.  There are many other non-religious adoption agencies available and I believe they should also have the right to operate as they choose but please do not deny religious agencies, birthparents, and adoptive parents the freedom to make choices based on their religious beliefs.  The agency my wife and I adopted through also provides a home for unwed mothers to live during their pregnancies providing a safe, healthy, environment where they can also continue their education.  The birthmother which stays in this home may either choose adoption or to raise their child.  It would be a shame to force this agency and others like it  to choose whether it should close its doors or operate in violation of their core religious beliefs.  Faith based agencies provide vital services to our communities and must be allowed to continue to do so.

CommentID: 18980