A Christian adoption agency in the State of New York is being targeted by authorities over its policy of only placing children with opposite-sex, married couples.
The Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) issued an ultimatum to New Hope Family Services to change their policy despite placing more than 1,000 children in new homes since 1965.
The lawsuit filed by New Hope Family Services against OCFS said that the ultimatum would force the agency “to choose either to violate its faith or cease exercising its religion by closing”.
New Hope received no formal complaints about the policy, does not receive state funding, and clearly shares its biblical marriage values with prospective clients.
OFCS labelled New Hope’s policy on same-sex and unmarried couples as “discriminatory and impermissible”.
The State of New York allows same-sex and unmarried couples to adopt, but there is no requirement for agencies to place their children with non-traditional parents.
Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Senior Counsel, Erik Stanley, said: “There’s no reason for the state to single out and punish those who hold the belief that the best home for a child includes a father and a mother”.
ADF Legal Counsel Jeana Hallock added that “eliminating New Hope as a faith-based adoption provider means fewer kids find a forever home, fewer adoptive parents will ever welcome their new child, and fewer birth parents enjoy the exceptional support that New Hope has offered for decades”.
In 2011, England’s last remaining Roman Catholic adoption agency lost a long-running battle to stay open in the face of sexual orientation laws.