‘A victory for children’: Christian adoption agency wins second battle against NY state

A Christian adoption agency in the US has been awarded $25,000 after New York State officials made another attempt to penalise it for only placing children with a married mother and father.

In 2021, officials investigated New Hope Family Services after a homosexual man complained that it would not allow him to adopt after it responded to him with general information, including its policy that it cannot place children with unmarried or same-sex couples because of its religious beliefs.

New Hope Family Services agreed to settle the case, only one month after it was awarded $250,000 in separate legal action against the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, which had threatened to close its adoption programme if it refused to place children with cohabitees or same-sex couples.

‘Loving home’

New Hope’s Executive Director Kathy Jerman stated: “Every child deserves a home with a loving mother and father who are committed to each other”.

She said: “It’s regrettable that New York ever threatened to shut down our adoption services, through which we have placed more than 1,000 children with adoptive families since we began in 1965”, but she welcomed the “favorable end that allows us to keep serving children and families”.

Roger Brooks, Senior Counsel at religious liberty group Alliance Defending Freedom which supported New Hope, said: “The government can’t force a faith-based nonprofit to choose between violating its religious beliefs or losing its ability to serve adoptive parents and children.

“This is a victory for children waiting to be adopted, prospective parents partnering with New Hope who want to provide loving and stable homes, and the entire Syracuse community.”

Christian faith

Earlier this year, a mother launched legal action against the state of Oregon because she believes it rejected her adoption application due to her Christian views on sexual ethics.

Jessica Bates last year began the process of adopting two hard-to-place siblings who are currently in foster care, but the Oregon Department of Human Services said she failed to “meet the adoption home standards”, and excluded her from accessing child welfare services.

She said in her application that she would “happily love and accept any child”, but said she would not do or say anything which conflicted with her Christian faith.

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