Skip to main content

Unbiased. Straight Facts.TM

U.S.

State AGs say new HHS foster care rule would violate Christian families’ rights

Nov 29, 2023

Share

A proposed new rule in the federal foster care system is intended to serve as an extra layer of protection over a child’s gender identity, but it could end up backfiring on the entire system. Nineteen Republican attorneys general have submitted a request for the Biden administration to reverse course the rule, saying that it would steer Christian families away from opening up their homes to the foster care system.

The attorneys generals also argue that no evidence exists to demonstrate the necessity of the proposed new policy in the first place.

The rule would forbid foster parents from placing their foster child in “conversion therapy,” among other items, but it is worded loosely in some places, and could be interpreted much more broadly.

The proposed rule states: “To be considered a safe and appropriate placement—a provider is expected to utilize the child’s identified pronouns, chosen name, and allow the child to dress in an age-appropriate manner that the child believes reflects their self-identified gender identity and expression…a provider who attempted to undermine, suppress or change the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of a child, including through the use of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ would not be a safe and appropriate placement.”

The 19 Republican leaders cite the rule’s language as being problematic, saying it would deter faith-based homes and families from considering foster care. They also allege that the rule would infringe on Americans’ First Amendment rights to religious freedom. Finally, they claim the policy will limit the number of available foster homes at a time when the government should be doing all it can to expand the number of available homes for foster children.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

A PROPOSED RULE CHANGE IN THE FOSTER CARE SYSTEM – MEANT TO ADD AN EXTRA LAYER OF PROTECTION OVER A CHILD’S GENDER IDENTITY – 

COULD END UP BACKFIRING ON THE ENTIRE SYSTEM –

ACCORDING TO MORE THAN A DOZEN REPUBLICAN STATE LEADERS ASKING THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO REVERSE COURSE.

19 REPUBLICAN ATTORNEYS GENERAL SAY THE PROPOSED RULE WOULD STEER CHRISTIAN FAMILIES AWAY FROM OPENING UP THEIR HOMES TO A GROWING NUMBER OF KIDS WHO NEED THEM.

AND POINT TO A LACK OF EVIDENCE THAT THE LAW IS EVEN NECESSARY.

HERE’S WHAT THE RULE STATES:

“TO BE CONSIDERED A SAFE AND APPROPRIATE PLACEMENT, A PROVIDER IS EXPECTED TO UTILIZE THE CHILD’S IDENTIFIED PRONOUNS, CHOSEN NAME, AND ALLOW THE CHILD TO DRESS IN AN AGE-APPROPRIATE MANNER THAT THE CHILD BELIEVES REFLECTS THEIR SELF-IDENTIFIED GENDER IDENTITY AND EXPRESSION…A PROVIDER WHO ATTEMPTED TO UNDERMINE, SUPPRESS OR CHANGE THE SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY, OR GENDER EXPRESSION OF A CHILD, INCLUDING THROUGH THE USE OF SO-CALLED “CONVERSION THERAPY” WOULD NOT BE A SAFE AND APPROPRIATE PLACEMENT.”

THE ATTORNEYS GENERAL ARGUE THE LANGUAGE USED WOULD DETER FAITH BASED ORGANIZATIONS AND CHRISTIAN PARENTS FROM FOSTERING –

BASED ON THEIR TRADITIONAL RELIGIOUS VIEWS ON GENDER AND SEXUALITY.

THEREFORE THEY ARGUE THE RULE WOULD INFRINGE ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

IN A LETTER, THE REPUBLICAN LEADERS SAY THE RULE WILL  “…remove faith-based providers from the foster care system if they will not conform their religious beliefs on sexual orientation and gender identity. States need faith-based organizations in their foster care system. The federal government should be searching for ways to increase the number of foster homes, not decrease them.”

THE LETTER SAYS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS LOOKING TO SOLVE A PROBLEM THAT DOESN’T EXIST.

[The letter reads:]

“The proposed rule also presents no evidence of mistreatment or harm to LGBTQI+ children in foster care. If HHS’s primary concern is reducing the risk of suicide, further efforts could be made to educate foster parents about how to deal with suicidality rather than mandate sexual orientation and gender identity speech and training that will drive away providers of faith. This is arbitrary.”

AT LAST ESTIMATE – THERE WAS 391 THOUSAND CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE IN THE U.S.

AND THERE ARE RISKS THEY FACE EVERY DAY.

UP TO 60 PERCENT OF CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING VICTIMS ARE OR HAVE BEEN IN FOSTER CARE.

AFRICAN-AMERICAN YOUTH REPRESENT ABOUT 14 PERCENT OF THE YOUTH POPULATION YET ACCOUNT FOR 23% OF FOSTER KIDS.

NEARLY ONE IN FIVE FOSTER CHILDREN DON’T GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL ON TIME.

AND THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES PREDICTS THE NUMBERS WILL ONLY GROW, ANTICIPATING THE NUMBER OF CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE TO GROW BY 25 THOUSAND WITHIN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS.