Many licensed child-placing agencies, including those of Virginia’s two Catholic dioceses, profess deeply held convictions and religious beliefs regarding the institution of marriage, the family unit, and human sexuality. These agencies have the right, under federal and state law, to make determinations according to their convictions and beliefs. The proper role of government is to respect and preserve this existing right. Just as importantly, many birthparents and prospective adoptive parents hold these convictions and beliefs too, and they should certainly be able to choose to work with agencies that share their values.
Forcing agencies and individuals into a choice of whether to follow their own values or to adhere to the law is an unacceptable violation of the freedom of conscience upon which our diverse, pluralistic society is based, and of the religious freedom upon which our Commonwealth and our country were built.