Virginia Protects Religious Liberty in Adoption and Foster Care

Virginia residents witnessed a significant victory for religious liberty this week. On Wednesday, Virginia’s State Board of Social Services voted 7–2 to reject a controversial policy that could have forced faith-based institutions to abandon their beliefs and cost Virginia many effective adoption agencies. Governor Bob McDonnell (R) is expected to approve the regulations.

The proposed changes to the regulations would have added sexual orientation, family status, age, religion, and other characteristics to the state’s family services nondiscrimination policy, prohibiting any adoption agency in Virginia from considering those attributes in prospective adoptive parents. Refusing to abide by this or any other adoption and foster care regulation would result in an agency losing its state-issued license to place children for adoption in Virginia. A religiously affiliated agency that believes children thrive in married households with both mom and dad would have been forced to either renounce its moral beliefs or shut its doors.

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