Private and Religious Adoption and Foster Care Agency Bill Allows All Kinds of Discrimination

The so-called “conscience clause” bill, SB 349, would allow all private adoption or foster care agencies, even those that contract with state or local governments, to discriminate against any prospective adoptive or foster parent in almost any way.  Certainly the effect on gays and lesbians in Virginia has been well documented but this bill has the potential to effect everyVirginian who tries to adopt or foster a child.

These agencies would be allowed to look at anything they want to determine who would be a good parent except race, color or nation of origin.  All these agencies would need to have is  “written religious or moral convictions or policies.”

Here are just two examples:

Single women:

If private or religious adoption agencies want to have a policy where kids will go only to married families, that is allowed under this bill.  A single woman would not be allowed to get the child she always wanted – even if she would be a great parent

Married working women:

If private or religious adoption agency wanted to discriminate against married working women and that agency had a written “moral conviction policy” that stated they prefer prospective mothers to be stay-at-home-moms, they could discriminate under this bill.

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