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New law grants privileges to faith-based adoption agencies

Despite objections from non-faith-based adoption agencies and other non-faith-based organizations, Texas recently passed a law granting faith-based adoption organizations the right to follow their "sincerely held beliefs" in the policies that dictate how they conduct their services. While it is still unclear how far reaching the law will intimately be, the flexibility it allows faith-based adoption organizations is fairly broad.

This presents a number of troublesome possible legal conflicts for many prospective parents. Under the new law, an agency can refuse to place a child with a particular family for a wide variety of reasons. For instance, some agencies insist that families who apply through them for adoption must be church members and attend church services on a weekly basis, or may refuse to place a child with a same-sex couple (in this case, however, the organization is required to refer the prospective parent or parents to an organization that will work with them).

Furthermore, the law allows faith-based organizations to refuse entering into contractual agreements with service providers or other organizations who are not aligned with their particular sincerely held religious beliefs.

For many prospective parents, this new law is all the more frustrating because it involves organizations refusing to serve taxpaying citizens despite being funded (at least partially) by taxpayers.

If you believe that an adoption agency is unfairly discriminating against you as a prospective parent, you should consider consulting with an experienced family law attorney. When you stand up and fight for your rights, you are also fighting for the rights of those who do not have the ability to fight for themselves.

Source: Christian Chronicle, "Under new Texas law, faith-based adoption agencies win protections," Bobby Ross Jr., July 26, 2017

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