In an interesting move by the current presidential administration, religious adoption and foster-care providers have received protections. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently granted one faith-based agency in South Carolina a religious exemption, which could impact other agencies across the country.
This is a conflict of interest in many ways since the new exemption could allow religious child-welfare providers to discriminate against same-sex couples by refusing to allow them to adopt through the service.
The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was put in place to limit the government’s ability to burden a person’s use and exercise of religion. Enforcing the regulation set forth by the Obama Administration, which prohibited recipients of federal funding from discriminating against same-sex couples, people of different races and other differences allegedly caused a programmatic burden that hindered the program’s ability to place children into foster care. This led to the organization’s exemption.
The organization argues that faith-based organizations provide foster-care services in line with their faith. These faith-motivated programs, it is argued, should not be placed out of business due to government interests, such as taking away federal funding as a result of refusing to place children with same-sex families.
As someone who is interested in adopting, changes in law like this could impact your decision on where to adopt from or in how you adopt. Many would argue that this is discrimination, and you may not be incorrect. If you need help with the adoption process, talk about your options with your attorney, who can help you make a good choice about who to work with.