June 11, 2020
During National Foster Care Month, I want to shine a spotlight on the blessing of fostering or adopting children and the challenges faith based organizations face in their efforts to help children. I have always advocated for children in need, and my own family has directly experienced the blessings of adoption through my beautiful granddaughter Zigita Marie.
One key component to supporting adoption and foster care is supporting religious liberty for our child welfare entities. Churches and other faith-based organizations play an important role in connecting families throughout the United States, and many families cite their faith or faith-based organizations in their decision to participate in foster care or adoption. Unfortunately, these entities are discriminated against because of unconstitutional policies that force them to choose between closing their doors, or giving up their sincerely held religious beliefs.
This fall, the Supreme Court will hear Fulton v. Philadelphia, an important case dealing with these constitutional rights. Ironically, regulations seeking to prevent faith-based entities from operating in accordance with their beliefs actually harm children by shutting down available providers and decreasing the number of homes available for children in the foster care system. To counter this discrimination against religious organizations at the federal level, in November 2019, President Trump’s administration announced a proposed rule to revise and replace burdensome regulations from the Obama administration that targeted religious Child Placing Agencies.
I am thankful for President Trump’s commitment to religious liberty. To support this issue in Congress, I’ve cosponsored S. 274, the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, which ensures that faith-based child welfare providers are able to operate in accordance with their religious beliefs. As long as we have children in need of assistance or a family, we should be ensuring that all organizations that want to help can do so.
All human beings—whether old or young, unborn or not, adopted or searching for a home—have God-given value. The children in our foster care system are no different. That’s why I support life at every stage, and I will continue to fight for these children at the federal level.