CenterLink responds to misuse by the Health and Human Services Department of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
The Trump administration granted permission today for government-contracted child welfare agencies in South Carolina to turn away would-be foster and adoptive parents based on religion. Once again, our national leaders have acted in a discriminatory manner placing children waiting for foster or adoptive families in harm’s way.
Over 123,000 of children and youth in foster care are waiting to be adopted, and fewer than one half of these will find their forever home within a year. Even though the current waiver is based on religion, it could just as easily been about serving LGBTQ youth and families. One in five foster youth identify as LGBTQ, and LGBTQ community centers open their doors annually to hundreds of youth who have been abused or tossed out of their homes. We know how important it is to help them find a loving, stable environment. This waiver will make that more difficult.
If we honestly care about our children, then foster decisions should always be made based on the needs of the child. We call on Congress to pass the Do No Harm Act to guarantee that our child welfare system puts no child at risk in the name of “protecting religious freedom”.