For the past decade, liberal activists have targeted faith-based adoption agencies if they do not assist same-sex couples who wish to adopt. Through lawsuits and legislation, these activists gave faith-based agencies an ultimatum: Comply with politically correct views on sexuality and marriage and place children with same-sex couples, or shut down.
Faced with this dilemma, Steve Roach, executive director of Catholic Charities for the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, closed the foster care and adoption programs he ran in the state. The cost? In an interview with The Daily Signal, Roach estimates that 3,000 children were affected and thousands of foster parents no longer will be part of the system.
Now, he advocates passage of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, federal legislation to prohibit discriminating or taking other adverse action against a child welfare service provider that declines to provide, facilitate, or refer for a service that conflicts with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Learn more in the transcript of the interview, which was lightly edited for clarity.
Kelsey Harkness: Tell us what happened to your adoption and foster care program run through Catholic Charities, and how you found yourself in this situation.
Roach: In 2011, the state of Illinois passed a law which effectively ended up shutting down foster care and adoption programs for Catholic Charities and a couple of other faith-based organizations in Illinois.
We were definitely forced out of foster care and adoption. The law was called the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act. The language in that law required that all agencies providing this service must place children in the homes of same-sex couples.
My faith and our religion believes in the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman, and we could not abide by that new state requirement. So after 50 years of providing quality foster care for children, for tens of thousands of children all across Illinois, the state said, “Well, if you do not surrender that religious belief, you will be eradicated.” And that’s what happened.
Harkness: But you do allow single mothers to adopt—can you explain why? I think some people look at that and don’t understand why you’re OK facilitating adoptions for single mothers versus facilitating adoptions for same-sex couples.
Roach: We believed that a child is raised best with a mother and a father. Married mother and father. We did provide homes with single parents as long as those parents were not cohabitating. Research shows that a lot of abuse happens in homes via the live-in paramour. So our policy was if you’re a single adult, and you qualify, we will work with you.
Harkness: What do you say to someone from the ACLU or from the other side that calls you “anti-gay?”
Roach: We just say that’s not the case. What we were was an organization that tried to provide quality foster homes for abused and neglected kids, and we did it very well. We were one of the best at it. I want to say, what’s the solution for these kids who are suffering? That’s what we need to be doing.
Harkness: Can same-sex parents still adopt children, whether faith-based agencies are a part of the system or not?
See the full story here.
Want more BFT? Leave us a voicemail on our page or follow us on Twitter @BFT_Podcast and Facebook @BluntForceTruthPodcast. We want to hear from you! There’s no better place to get the #BluntForceTruth.