Biden's war on foster parents hits bump in the road

October 2, 2023
World Net Daily

This story was originally published by the WND News Center.

Joe Biden's announced war on foster parents of faith already has hit a snag.

The Daily Caller News Foundation reported just days ago that Biden's Department of Health and Human Services wants to prevent foster parents who have religious objections to pushing transgender ideologies – and body-mutilating surgeries – on children to be banned from fostering them.

Under Biden's proposed rule, children in the foster care system will only be placed with families who the HHS classifies as a “safe and appropriate placement,” meaning families must use a child’s “identified pronouns” and “chosen name,” the rule said. “Safe” families will undergo extensive training to “provide” for the child’s “needs,” and the state will transfer fostered children away from families who do not “support” their “self-identified gender identity and expression,” upon completion of an investigation.

But now a federal court has affirmed South Carolina's decision to continue partnering with faith-based foster care ministries that provide loving homes to children.

In two opinions, the court ordered the protection of the state's freedom to partner with faith-based agencies that serve children in need. The rulings follow the Supreme Court's recent ruling in Fulton v. Philadelphia that the U.S. Constitution protects Catholic Social Services' right to stay faithful to its religious beliefs while still serving foster children in Philadelphia.

"This is a major victory for the children in South Carolina’s foster care system who were at risk of losing out on loving homes," explained Lori Windham, vice president at the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom.

"The attempt to shutter faith-based foster care agencies and decrease the number of foster homes for these kids violated the law and common sense. We are glad that South Carolina stood up for foster children and faith-based agencies and that the court protected them."

The lost cause had been pursued by the ACLU and Americans United.

The federal court decision affirmed South Carolina’s decision to "do the right thing: continue partnering with faith-based foster care ministries that provide loving homes for children," the report said.

The cases are Rogers v. Health and Human Services and Maddonna v. Health and Human Services. In both, the ACLJ and Americans United for Separation of Church and State sued Gov. Henry McMaster, demanding he and the state adopt the organizations' absolute intolerance for the state's process of working with religious foster agencies.

The court ruling rejected challenges to South Carolina’s efforts to protect children in foster care and the families who serve them.

Becket explained those decisions will make it easier for all foster families in South Carolina to find an agency that meets their unique needs and for more foster children to find loving homes.

"These two rulings from the U.S. district court represent significant wins for religious liberty and South Carolina's faith-based organizations like Miracle Hill, which will be able to continue their crucial mission of connecting children in foster care with loving homes," said Gov. Henry McMaster. "These victories will directly benefit countless children by further ensuring that faith-based organizations will not be forced to abandon their beliefs to help provide critical services to our state's youth."

South Carolina works directly with families seeking to foster and adopt children in crisis situations, serving children and families from all backgrounds, Becket explained. The state also partners with an array of private agencies that help find and support more families for foster children who need a safe place to live.

McMaster had issued an executive order protecting the religious freedom of foster agencies in South Carolina. However, the ACLU recruited individuals to sue South Carolina over the inclusion of a single faith-based agency, Miracle Hill. Rather than reach out to any other organization or to the South Carolina Department of Social Services, the plaintiffs went straight to federal court.

The report on the new rule said Biden also plans to make foster parents guilty of "neglect" or "abuse" if they “retaliate” against a child for their “gender identity."

That aggression would extend even to the issue of foster parents limiting a small child's access to "health care supportive of their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression."

That plan now is going through a 60-day public comment period.

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