Letter: Faith, Child Welfare, Civil Rights Leaders United in Opposition to Federal Adoption Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, 211 religious, child welfare, civil rights, and other organizations wrote House and Senate appropriators to voice strong opposition to the Aderholt Amendment to the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill. The groups urged Congress to reject the provision which would harm children in the child welfare system and authorize taxpayer-funded discrimination. Signatories include Family Equality Council, Child Welfare League of America, National Association of County and City Health Officials, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and numerous Christian, Jewish and interfaith faith organizations.

The letter states:

Taxpayer dollars should not be used to discriminate and no family should be told they are not qualified to serve as foster or adoptive parents because they are LGBTQ or the “wrong” religion by a taxpayer-funded provider. This amendment would allow agencies to use a religious litmus test to determine which families or children to serve, and which services to provide, while still receiving taxpayer dollars.

The letter follows a letter led by Senator Ron Wyden signed by 40 Senators and an earlier child welfare organizational letter to appropriators with over one hundred signatories opposing the amendment, which were sent to Congressional leaders.

Julie Kruse, federal policy advocate at Family Equality Council, said: “We are so grateful for the outpouring of support from faith groups, children’s advocates, and civil rights organizations opposing taxpayer-funded discrimination. The Aderholt amendment would harm all foster youth waiting to be placed with loving families, state child welfare systems across the country which stand to lose $1 billion in federal funding because of their nondiscrimination policies, and LGBTQ foster youth who need supportive care.”

Download the letter here.

Many of the signatories of the letter are active members of the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign which seeks to end discrimination against foster youth and foster and adoptive parents and to promote supportive, affirming child welfare services to LGBTQ and other at-risk foster youth.

About Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality Council believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.

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