A letter from Republican attorneys general states that a new government regulation seeks to exclude conservative Christians from becoming foster parents.
Foster care providers who are members of religious groups and who refuse to compromise their views on sexual orientation and gender identity may find themselves removed from the foster care system under a new regulation proposed by the Biden administration.
According to the “Safe and Acceptable Foster Care Placement Requirements,” a child’s chosen name and pronouns must be respected by foster parents. Additionally, children should be allowed to dress in a way acceptable for their age and that they feel represents their gender identity and expression. The Biden administration would reject as potential foster parents anybody who can’t “confirm” the LGBTQ guidelines due to their Christian religion.
A group of 19 state attorneys general has sent a letter to the Biden administration, requesting that they change their minds since their current proposal would make it illegal for Christian families to foster children, further straining an already overworked system of care.
The number of children in foster care reached over 391,000 in 2022. There are now not enough foster homes, and the new regulation would make things worse by discouraging religious groups and people from being involved. Thousands of Christian couples hoping to become foster parents may be disqualified if Biden’s proposed regulation is implemented.
Concerns raised in the letter include religious discrimination, a decrease in the number of foster homes for children, the possibility of kinship placements being jeopardized, and increased expenses and fewer care alternatives for states.
In the 2021 case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court determined that the City of Philadelphia had violated the First Amendment by refusing to enter into a contract with a Catholic social services organization unless the latter promised to certify same-sex couples as foster parents.