Home Us bishops HHS repeals rule protecting faith-based foster families and adoption agencies

HHS repeals rule protecting faith-based foster families and adoption agencies


WASHINGTON (CNS) – On November 18, the United States Department of Health and Human Services repealed a Trump administration rule that ensured that faith-based social service agencies that provide adoption and foster care services ‘Hospitality would continue to receive federal funding for services that follow their religious beliefs.

Opponents of the rule change, put in place earlier this year at the end of President Donald Trump’s tenure, said it allowed agencies to use religion to discriminate against potential foster parents.

But US bishops praised the rule when it was implemented, saying it allowed faith-based social service providers “to continue to partner with government to help children in need.”

In acting within the rule, the HHS specifically rescinded waivers that allowed child welfare agencies in South Carolina, Texas and Michigan not to place children with same-sex couples in accordance with their beliefs. nun in the traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said the Trump-era rule was “a general use of religious exemptions against anyone or blank checks to allow discrimination against anyone, including LGBTQ + people in programs funded by taxpayers “.

It is unclear how his ruling will square with a unanimous United States Supreme Court decision in Fulton v. Philadelphia on the same question.

The court ruled in favor of a Catholic social service agency, saying it should not have been excluded from the Philadelphia foster care program because, by following the church’s teaching on marriage, the agency did not accept same-sex couples as foster parents in accordance with church teaching. .

The court said the city of Philadelphia anti-discrimination laws had placed an unfair burden on Catholic social services in Philadelphia; the city has banned the Catholic agency of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from placing a child in foster care or with an adoptive couple because the agency would not consider placement with same-sex couples.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion, said the service agency “is only seeking accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; he does not seek to impose these beliefs on anyone else.

He also said the city’s actions to exclude the agency have added to its “religious exercise” by giving the agency “the choice to downsize its mission or approve relationships inconsistent with its beliefs.”