Texas adoption bill OK's rejection of non-Christian parents

Texas adoption bill OK's rejection of non-Christian parents

HB 3859 bill covers Texas's child welfare services, which includes care networks for abused children, foster parenting, counseling, and adoption.

Four other states have approved similar laws protecting faith-based adoption organizations that refuse to place children with gay parents or other households on religious grounds.

Randy Daniels, vice-president of Child and Family Services for the Dallas-based Christian child welfare organization Buckner International, said religious agencies are terrified of lawsuits for turning away parents. She said Wednesday that alterations the House made while approving her bill last week were "bad for Houston taxpayers" and "shockingly fiscally irresponsible". "Unfortunately, the ability of numerous faith-based institutions to continue offering services is threatened by the prospect of litigation for declining to provide certain services (such as abortion) because of sincerely held religious beliefs", Frank wrote.

The legislation that has garnered the most attention is a bill that would require people to use restrooms in state facilities that correspond with the gender on their birth certificate, not the gender with which they identify.

Democrats in the Texas House are questioning why the state should allow adoption and foster care agencies to raise "sincerely held religious beliefs" allowing them to keep from working with some would-be adoptive families. "Or (they're) not allowing a child to be adopted by a Muslim family because (they're) a Jewish agency".

The bill, authored by state Rep. James Frank will allow faith-based state-funded or private adoption agencies to reject potential candidates based on their religion, if they are single, or because of their sexual orientation.

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Publicly funded adoption agencies that ban non-Christian, unmarried, or gay prospective parents could soon be shielded by the state of Texas. According to CNN, faith-based organizations make up around 25 percent of child welfare providers in the state. They add those looking to adopt can simply work with another agency, but those against it believe the bill is state-sponsored discrimination.

The bill that was scheduled for debate and approval this past weekend in the state house, however it will be discussed later this week.

Sponsors say it protects religious objections already being raised by adoption agencies.

Abbott has declared fixing child protective services a priority in the face of rising investigator caseloads and child deaths. But if they don't meet those standards, Statler said they'll refer parents to different agencies. "Rather than addressing the findings laid before us by the bluntly accurate court case, we're now taking the consideration of the providers over the best interests of the child".

Maddox voiced his concern over the bill's effect on the LGBT community, and LGBT couples, saying, "one of the things that we strive for as human beings in general, is that we all want to fit into society".

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