Adoption and foster care programs exist to serve the best interests of vulnerable children, and yet there are 10 states that allow child placement agencies to discriminate.
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (S.1791/H.R. 3114), which was recently reintroduced in both the Senate and the House of Representatives, would fix this problem. It would prohibit discrimination based on religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status in the adoption and foster care system.
No longer could taxpayer funded adoption and foster care agencies cite religion to discriminate against atheist children and potential parents.
This bill will help hundreds of thousands of children and youths to find safe environments and to eventually find their forever families free from religious coercion and discrimination. Currently, there are over 400,000 children who need placement in our foster care system and over 100,000 children who are waiting to be adopted into a forever family.
Allowing discrimination against qualified families based on the religious beliefs of others reduces the number of available families and harms these vulnerable children.
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act will also protect young people from religious coercion in child welfare systems, such as coercive religious conversion and dangerous conversion therapy.
Together we can help each child find a forever home, free from religious coercion. We must prioritize the best interests of children — not those who would discriminate against them.