Faith-Based Adoption Agencies Find New Hope

The uncritical acceptance of the LGBT agenda has become so pervasive in government, in the media, and in other spheres of influence that it is now fashionable to trample on religious freedom in the name of so-called LGBT “equality.”

On November 3, Gov. Andrew Cuomo threatened legal action against a proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that would protect faith-based child welfare organizations from unfair discrimination based upon their beliefs about marriage and family. 

Before departing the White House, President Barack Obama rushed to implement a rule that effectively bars child welfare organizations from receiving federal grants if those organizations decline to place children in same-sex households. The new rule proposed by the Trump administration would lift this restriction, allowing faith-based child welfare organizations to receive federal grants regardless of their beliefs about marriage and family.

By punishing faith-based child welfare organizations that did not agree with his views on marriage, President Obama shrank the pool of available resources for children that need loving homes. The proposed HHS rule would correct this problem. It is a good rule that should be finalized and implemented.

Gov. Cuomo should be more concerned about promoting adoption and foster parenting in New York than he is about grandstanding against the President and appeasing left-leaning special interest groups. Unfortunately, his words make it clear that the reverse is true.

On November 5, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a temporary injunction allowing New Hope Family Services to continue providing various adoption-related services. New Hope is a Christian charity that the State of New York is attempting to close because of its unwillingness to place children in households headed by same-sex couples. New Hope sued the state in federal court on religious freedom grounds; a federal judge ruled against the organization, but that decision has been appealed and oral arguments have been scheduled for November 13, 2019. 

Last week’s injunction was an important step in the right direction for New Hope Family Services. The Second Circuit injunction prevents the State of New York from putting New Hope out of business while its lawsuit continues to wend its way through the federal courts. Specifically, the injunction allows New Hope to continue accepting surrenders of children, placing children with approved providers, and supervising the placements of children within its custody. (The injunction does not allow the organization to accept new prospective parents.)

New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms urges the Second Circuit to respect religious liberty and to protect the interests of children by ruling in favor of New Hope.