Faith-based Adoption Discriminates against “Non-traditional” Households

The United States Congress is increasingly getting their hands dirty by violating the tenant of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause.

Adoptions are a civil matter.

On July 30, 2014 Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and House Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) introduced the “The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014.” Among other things, it would make it harder for same-sex couples, singles and other “non-traditional” households from adopting children if they are working through a religious based adoption service. It would also take the current provisions in the law that prevents federal funds from organizations that permit such discriminatory actions.

Of course, the more conservative religious based adoption agencies see this proposed law as a positive, a windfall for these faith based organizations. This bill has strong support, for example, from the powerful and influential United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Since the Supreme Court had ruled against the DOMA provisions preventing the United States government from not recognizing same-sex marriages and as individual state laws are deemed unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, faith based organizations have been working hard to find other ways to discriminate against the LGBT community as well as others who do not meet their strict definitions of “family.”

However, as I have written before, the laws and rules concerning the definition of a “traditional marriage” as one man and one woman are indeed faith based and an interpretation of biblical writings by individual churches. This is a First Amendment issue as well as the Fourteenth.

No all churches, mind you, but those whose conservative and selective readings match their mind set. More liberal organizations, such as the Unitarian-Universalists, tend to be open and all inclusive.

I believe that the federal government should not be in the business of faith based adoption services and should not provide funding either through grants or payments for services rendered to those organizations that use religion as a foundation for discrimination against single parent households, same-sex couples and other “non-traditional” households.

In fact, the laws need to be changed to prevent such discrimination in the first place. An adoption is a civil procedure that may or may not be sanctioned by the religious organization, much like marriage. It is unfortunate that the majority of adoption agencies are faith-based.

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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