Seattle, WA ( July 12, 2018 )- Yesterday the U.S. House of Representatives' Appropriations Committee passed the Child Welfare Inclusion Act ( CWIA ) bill that allows Federally funded adoption agencies to refuse LGBTQ+ families based on religious convictions. This bill would amend the 2019 funding bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. This is in addition to the Health and Human Services Proposed Rule to remove LGBTQ+ and Native identity data from AFCARS.
In the text of the bill, the purpose reads, "To prohibit governmental entities from discriminating or taking an adverse action against a child welfare service provider on the basis that the provider declines to provide a child welfare service that conflicts, or under circumstances that conflict, with the sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions of the provider." This means that adoption agencies can refuse service to anyone and cite religious beliefs as the basis for their refusal.
We, One Million Kids for Equality, condemn this heinous move by the House of Representatives Committee and recognize that it is nothing but another attack on the LGBTQ+ community. Not only will this affect LGBTQ+ individuals who wish to adopt, but it will also affect foster children in the adoption system. According to an ACLU study on foster care, more than 500,000 children are in foster care and of that 100,000 need adopted. However, only about 20,000 will be adopted. Lifelong Adoptions' statistics estimate nearly 2 million LGBTQ+ couples are interested in adopting, but with the passage of this amendment, that number will be greatly impacted. We are in the middle of a foster care crisis and our Government is about to make it worse. The House of Representatives is making a clear statement that the needs of children in foster care is not their main concern, but rather, that they care more about strengthening their religious agenda through discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community. The passage of the bill is completely unacceptable and goes against what we stand for as a country.