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Bishop Chairmen, Ecumenical and Interfaith Leaders Strongly Support Legislation Keeping Kids First in Adoption and Foster Care

May 1, 2018

WASHINGTON—At the start of National Foster Care Month, three bishop chairmen, faith leaders, and numerous nonprofit organizations sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady urging the committee to give a high priority to the enactment of the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (H.R. 1881) this year.

The Inclusion Act protects child welfare providers from being discriminated against by federal or state government entities due to the providers' religious beliefs or moral convictions.

The letter states that "keeping kids first involves protecting the birth 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 driving more children into foster care and adoption, we need all available agencies to assist with placing vulnerable children in stable homes.  Faith-based agencies in particular excel at recruiting good families who can provide stability for children in crisis; that excellence is propelled by both the faith-driven mission of these agencies as well as their connections to houses of worship where they can recruit prospective foster and adoptive parents."

Signatories from Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities USA, Buckner International, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Assemblies of God, Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, and many other organizations concerned about the freedom of adoption and foster care providers to serve children in need of loving homes joined Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop James D. Conley of Lincoln, Chairman of the USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, in signing the letter.

A link to the letter can be found here:

A backgrounder is available at:

Keywords: Bishop Frank Dewane, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop James Conley, USCCB, Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act, adoption, foster care, keep kids first, freedom to serve, National Foster Care Month


Media Contact:
Judy Keane


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