WASHINGTON—At the start of National Foster Care Month, threebishop chairmen, faith leaders, and numerous nonprofit organizations sent aletter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady urging the committeeto give a high priority to the enactment of the Child Welfare ProviderInclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881) this year.
The Inclusion Act protects child welfare providers from beingdiscriminated against by federal or state government entities due to theproviders' religious beliefs or moral convictions.
The letter states that "keeping kids first involves protecting thebirth mother's choice to place the child with the family she feels is best,"and it quotes a birth mother who chose to work with a Christian adoption agency"because their values match mine."
The letter continues: "At a time when the opioid crisis is drivingmore children into foster care and adoption, we need all available agencies toassist with placing vulnerable children in stable homes. Faith-based agencies in particular excel atrecruiting good families who can provide stability for children in crisis; thatexcellence is propelled by both the faith-driven mission of these agencies aswell as their connections to houses of worship where they can recruitprospective foster and adoptive parents."
Signatories from Bethany Christian Services, Catholic CharitiesUSA, Buckner International, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of theSouthern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod,Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and many other organizationsconcerned about the freedom of adoption and foster care providers to servechildren in need of loving homes joined Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice,Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committeeon Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz ofLouisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and BishopJames D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for thePromotion and Defense of Marriage, in signing the letter.
A link to the letter can be found here: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/religious-liberty/upload/Support-for-the-Child-Welfare-Provider-Inclusion-Act-of-2017-HR-1881.pdf.
A backgrounder is available at: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/promotion-and-defense-of-marriage/upload/Backgrounder-Inclusion-Act-2017.pdf.
Keywords: Bishop Frank Dewane, ArchbishopJoseph Kurtz, Bishop James Conley, USCCB, Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act,adoption, foster care, keep kids first, freedom to serve, National Foster CareMonth
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