Our website is made possible by displaying online ads to our visitors.
Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our site.

Bill threatens to remove conscience protections for adoption agencies

First slide

Legislation currently moving through the General Assembly threatens to strip faith-based adoption agencies of their ability to make placements in accord with their moral convictions. 

“To restrict faith-based organizations’ work by infringing on religious freedom is unfair and serves no one, especially children in need of services. We need to increase — not decrease — their opportunities to be placed with safe and loving families,” said the Virginia Catholic Conference, the lobbying arm of the Virginia bishops. “Current law simply ensures that no agencies — including faith-based agencies that follow the teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman — are forced to participate in placements that violate their beliefs and moral convictions.”

The bill, H.B. 1051, states that it would, “Repeal provisions that allowed child-placing agencies to refuse to perform, assist with, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any child placements when the proposed placement would violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies.”

Art Bennett, president and CEO of diocesan Catholic Charities, worries how this would affect their agency’s Pregnancy and Adoption Support.  

“The conscience clause is better for everyone. It allows birth parents to find an adoption situation that is the best interest of the child. It gives them a freedom of choice,” he said. “(Catholic Charities) provides a service people have used for 70 years. We’re looking at the best interests of the child, the birth parents and parents, in congruence with God’s will.”

Find out more

To learn more about this bill and contact your legislator, go to https://vacatholic.org/action-center/?vvsrc=/Campaigns/70351/Respond

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2020

@ZoeyMaraistACH