Resources

Religious Discrimination in Adoption and Foster Care

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In order to assist advocates in fighting against these divisive bills, we have assembled a number of tools and resources, including talking points, suggested social media posts, and an action alert template.

BlitzWatch has partnered with the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign on this issue. Every Child Deserves a Family brings together faith leaders, child welfare organizations, foster youth and foster and adoptive parents, civil rights organizations, and allies across the country to protect the best interests of all children in the foster care and adoption system.

The campaign is actively engaged in fighting these discriminatory bills and has a wide range of resources available to assist advocates, including talking points, messaging, and sample social media and action alerts.


Messaging and Talking Points

Talking POints

  1. This bill would create a license to discriminate and allow taxpayer-funded child welfare agencies to deny needed services to prospective foster or adoptive parents based on the agency’s or provider’s religious beliefs.

  2. The bill would allow service providers to turn away qualified foster and adoptive parents based on their religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics, reducing the number of possible homes and harming ALL children in care.

  3. Some child welfare agencies have threatened to close all operations if they are not allowed to discriminate. These agencies have said that if they are required to provide services to people they object to, they will refuse to serve any youth at all. In reality, agencies that discriminate have not been compelled to close—they are simply no longer eligible for public funding.

  4. Child welfare systems must hold the best interests of young people as their first priority, not the beliefs held by the placement agency or its desire to discriminate against certain types of families. Taxpayer funds should only go toward ensuring that children are placed in loving, safe, nurturing environments as soon as possible.

    For more talking points, check out the Every Child Deserves a Family resource page.


Sample Social Media Posts

Hey @ELECTEDOFFICIAL: discrimination has no place in child welfare. Oppose [#Bill]. #NoAdoptionDiscrimination #BlitzWatch

Every child deserves a loving home. [@lawmaker], please oppose [#Bill]! It will make it so much harder for kids to find their Forever Home. #NoAdoptionDiscrimination #BlitzWatch

Child welfare decisions should be about what’s best for kids, not the religious views of the agency that’s supposed to be helping them. [@lawmaker], please oppose [#Bill]! Kids in [State] deserve better! #NoAdoptionDiscrimination #BlitzWatch


Sample Action Alert

Email to Lawmakers

Subject: Oppose [Bill#] Allowing Foster Care and Adoption Discrimination

I am emailing you to sincerely request that you oppose [Bill #], which would allow taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption service providers to discriminate against qualified foster and adoptive parents, based on their religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics.

The measure breaks the cardinal rule of child welfare services, which is to act in the best interest of the child. Indeed, the bill would HARM CHILDREN by denying them access to loving, forever homes.

There is a crisis in foster care due to the huge shortage of available families for children. Each year, over half the children waiting to be adopted do not find a loving home, and most tragically, far too many foster youth age out of care without a forever family. Those youth are at greater risk of involvement with the criminal justice system, homelessness, unemployment, and being trafficked.

[In addition, all foster youth would be at risk of being denied needed services based on the religious beliefs of service providers. LGBTQ youth could be subjected to harmful conversion therapy, a medically discredited practice that unsuccessfully aims to change the sexual orientation or gender identity of an LGBTQ child or adult.]

In some cases, families in crisis may be denied reunification simply because the foster care agency refuses to serve them. This is unacceptable.

Please protect [state’s] children and families by opposing this harmful bill!

Email to Constituents

Subject: [State] Residents: Oppose Discrimination in foster care and adoption!

In an alarming development, a foster care and adoption license to discriminate measure was [Give a short bill update, such as -- introduced or voted out of committee yesterday].

[Bill #] would allow taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption service providers across the state to discriminate against qualified parents based on religion, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or other characteristics. This kind of discrimination reduces the number of potential adoptive parents, making children in these systems less likely to find a loving, permanent home.

We need your help to tell the legislature:  NO ADOPTION DISCRIMINATION in [state]!

The measure breaks the cardinal rule of child welfare services, which is to act in the best interest of the child. Indeed, the bill would HARM CHILDREN by denying them access to loving, forever homes.

We can defeat this harmful bill, but we need your help. Take action now by emailing your [relevant lawmaker] and tell them to oppose [Bill #]!