A few weeks ago, two same-sex couples in Michigan sued the state after taxpayer-funded contractors used religion to refuse to allow the couples to provide safe, loving homes for foster children.
Now the Associated Press reports that a North Dakota couple filed a lawsuit against Catholic Charities for refusing to let them adopt a 15-year-old girl who had been in foster care for eight years because they were living together before they were married. In their suit, James and Tahnee Young say that they disclosed their relationship status upfront to the agency and were matched with the girl in foster care. They had hoped to finalize the adoption in time for the girl to be a bridesmaid in their wedding. Unfortunately, Catholic Charities later rescinded the adoption offer, stating that the Youngs did not abide by the church’s teachings.
Both the Michigan and North Dakota cases demonstrate a dangerous trend of child-placement agencies prioritizing religious views above the best interest of children. Religious freedom is about fairness. It’s not fair to the children who will remain in foster care longer when state contractors use religion to reject qualified families who want to provide safe, loving homes.
Here’s the bottom line: Child-placement agencies should never put their religious beliefs ahead of a child’s best interest.