The Trump administration is ramping up efforts to allow discrimination against American minorities in taxpayer-funded foster care and adoption services.
On January 23, 2019 HHS issued a waiver to South Carolina so that Miracle Hill Ministries and other taxpayer-funded faith-based foster care agencies can continue to turn away Jewish foster parents and mentors as well as those of any faith other than Miracle Hill’s particular interpretation of Protestant Christianity.
On Feb. 7, 2019, President Trump spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in support of continuing federal funding to an agency that turns away same-sex couples applying to be foster and adoptive parents in violation of HHS’ nondiscrimination policies.
On Feb. 8, 2019, the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration reported that the administration intends to propose in its 2020 budget broad authorization for foster care and adoption agencies nationwide to discriminate in child welfare services and “reject LGBTQ parents, non-Christians, and others.”
On March 11, the administration released its budget including an unfunded line item in the proposed HHS budget entitled “Protect the religious liberty of child welfare providers.” The administration also included language in its HHS Budget in Brief that the agency’s Office of Civil Rights will act on proposed rulemaking “to ensure protection of the conscience and religious freedom rights of individuals and entities working in health care and human services” (emphasis added). You can see an April 24 Washington Post article on the likely impact on the LGBTQ community here.
On April 16, HHS issued a NPRM proposing taking sexual orientation data out of its AFCARS adoption and foster care reporting system. 80 groups immediately signed on in opposition – see the statement here.
On May 2, 2019, President Trump spoke in the Rose Garder to honor the National Day of Prayer where he committed himself to preserving “the central role of faith based adoption and foster care agencies to care for vulnerable children while following their deeply held beliefs.”
In response, over 100 members of Congress, 120 national organizations, and countless individuals have spoken up against these attacks.
What You Can Do
We encourage advocates to:
Join the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign to receive action alerts.
Submit letters to the editor locally using the talking points below.
Sign up for the LGBTQ Family and Youth Equality Days in Washington, DC on May 14-15, hosted by Family Equality Council, COLAGE, FosterClub, and PFLAG National (some scholarships are available).
Share your family, foster care, adoption or ally story with your member of Congress and tell them why you oppose foster care and adoption discrimination.
Continue to speak out against state-sanctioned discrimination that harms America’s most vulnerable children. Please send links to any statements, letters to the editor, or blogs to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click here If you wish to join the Every Child Deserves a Family Campaign and receive action alerts with opportunities to fight this discrimination. For more information or if you have questions email email@example.com.
Sample Statements and Talking Points
Ready to start a conversation or make a formal statement against government-sanctioned discrimination in adoption and foster care? See our suggested talking points and sample statements below: