week, children in two states may be closer to finding their forever
In Virginia, the State Board of Social Services voted to allow the
public 30 days to comment on its controversial
decision to strip key anti-discrimination language from proposed
rules that govern state-licensed adoption and foster care
Back in April, the board proposed new rules that would to prohibit
agencies from discriminating against prospective foster and
adoptive parents on several bases, including sexual orientation and
It’s hoped that Virginians will use the public comment period to
tell the Board that any qualified parent willing to open up their
hearts and homes to a child in need should be treated equally and
fairly under the law.
Also last week, a judge in Illinois ruled the state cannot be forced to renew its
contract with Catholic Charities to provide publicly-funded foster
care and adoption services. The state will instead transfer the
cases to other social services agencies that do not discriminate
against qualified families.
The Illinois Attorney General argued that Catholic Charities’
policy of licensing only married couples and single parents living
alone as foster parents, while referring couples in civil unions to
other agencies, violated the state’s anti-discrimination law and
the new civil union law.
Currently in Virginia, there are 1,480 children in foster care
waiting for adoption, while another 2,944 foster children are
waiting for homes in Illinois.
While the ruling in Illinois and the possibility of a regulation in
Virginia are good news for these children, there are many more
foster children we need to worry about.
A patchwork of laws and policies in many other states do not take
the best interests of approximately 424,000 foster children into
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act would ensure those states do
not discriminate against qualified parents, limiting the number of
foster and adoptive homes available to children who desperately
Currently, there are 58 co-sponsors on the bill. Click here to contact your representative and
tell them to sign on as a co-sponsor of the Every Child Deserves A