Adoption Agencies Blocked From Refusing Gay Parents For Religious Reasons

If it had passed, the Aderholt Amendment would have allowed adoption agencies to discriminate based on religious objections.

Male gay parents sit in bed with their two small children from adoption reading a book

The US Congress has turned down proposed amendments to a bill which would have allowed child welfare and adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT+ parents, single parents and members of a different faith.

The Aderholt Amendment to the 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education spending bill, was originally introduced by Republican Robert Aderholt of Alabama, who said religious adoption agencies and child welfare services were being discriminated against “simply because these organisations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples”. It would also have meant the same agencies could “deny a broad range of child welfare services to foster children based on religious or moral beliefs.”

Republicans had initially approved the amendment in July but a huge coalition of child welfare groups came together to fight it by forming the Every Child Deserves A Family campaign. Their aim was to promote “the best interests of all children in the foster care and adoption system by increasing their access to loving, stable, forever homes”.

Hugh Lane

The campaign was successful in pressing Congress to refute the Aderholt Amendment. Democratic Representative Rosa DeLauro said of its defeat “I was proud to fight to ensure that the Aderholt Amendment,  which would have inserted bigotry and discrimination into our foster care and adoption systems, was removed.”

She continued: “Children deserve to live in safe, happy, and healthy permanent homes, and their best interests should always be placed first. No qualified adoptive and foster care parent should be discriminated against, period.”

Spokesperson for the Family Equality Council, Denise Brogan-Kator, said: “Over 300 child welfare, civil rights and faith organisations successfully mobilized to press Congress to say no to depriving foster children of loving homes and needed services. The Aderholt Amendment had broken the cardinal rule of child welfare — that the needs of children should come first.”

In a shocking case in August, a US Catholic adoption agency ceased placing children rather than allowing same-sex couples to adopt. The Catholic Charities of Buffalo argued that placing children with same-sex couples was not “consistent with the teaching of the church.”

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

Support GCN

GCN has been a vital, free-of-charge information service for Ireland’s LGBTQ+ community since 1988.

During this global COVID pandemic, we like many other organisations have been impacted greatly in the way we can do business and produce. This means a temporary pause to our print publication and live events and so now more than ever we need your help to continue providing this community resource digitally.

GCN is a registered charity with a not-for-profit business model and we need your support. If you value having an independent LGBTQ+ media in Ireland, you can help from as little as €1.99 per month. Support Ireland’s free, independent LGBTQ+ media.

0 comments. Please sign in to comment.