WASHINGTON (CNS) — Kansas and Oklahoma “are keeping kids first” by enacting laws protecting the conscience rights of adoption and foster care providers, said the chairmen of three U.S. bishops’ committees May 18.
Both states just enacted laws to “allow all capable adoption and foster care providers to serve children in need,” the bishops said.
“We need more, not fewer, agencies to serve children who need loving homes,” they added, pointing out that the nation’s opioid crisis “has caused a large increase in the number of children entering the foster care system.”
The joint statement was issued by Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development; Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Nebraska, chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.
Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin signed legislation in to law May 18 and May 11, respectively, to ensure faith-based adoption and foster care providers “can provide these services in accordance with their deeply held religious beliefs or moral convictions,” the bishops said.
With Kansas and Oklahoma, at least nine states now have passed similar laws; the others are Virginia, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas. These laws do not exclude any providers or prohibit anyone from adopting but merely ensure the inclusion of faith-based providers, the USCCB said in releasing the bishops’ statement.
On the federal level, the USCCB supports the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017, which protects child welfare providers from being discriminated against by federal or state government entities due to the providers’ religious beliefs or moral convictions. In the House the measure is H.R. 1881, and in the Senate it is S. 811.
In a time to build, CatholicPhilly.com connects people and communities
As society emerges from the loss and separation of the pandemic, CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you join in our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103