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Thursday, October 27, 2011

“Every Child Deserves a Family Act” H.R. 1681 Intended or Unintended Consequences?

If HR 1681 Passes What Will Happen To The Children?

While the title of this bill,Every Child Deserves a Family Act” H.R. 1681, sponsored by Pete Stark, Barney Frank and  Anthony Weiner, to name a few, sounds noble and like something everyone could get behind.  It is not.  Passage of this bill would have devastating results.  The bill contains provisions that would make it illegal for Catholic or other Christian organizations to provide adoption services unless they violated their own religious beliefs. One of the problems with the bill is that it's provisions are so ambiguous that these organization's couldn't be sure if they were in violation of the law or not.  That ambiguity in the law is carte blanche entry for organizations and attorney's with a political or social ax to grind.  The text of H.R. 1681 can be found Here.  I encourage you to read it.  Note Section 3 which contains the provisions for failing to comply with the ambiguous "findings" and restrictive requirements in Section 2.  Section 3, the "relief" section and "punishment" section of the bill is actually larger than Section 2.  I don't think the supporters of this bill have thought this through.  I don't want to believe that they really want to use the full power and force of the Federal Government to destroy Catholic and Christian adoption services.

The net effect of the passage of this bill would be to put more children in harms way and prevent more children from being placed in loving families.   Again the stated intent of the bill is to insure that Gay, Lesiban, Transgendered and Bi individuals are not discriminiated against should they desire to adopt children.  If that is what the bill would ensure and accomplish I would probably support it.  However, this bill is flawed. This bill prevents Catholic and other Christian organizations from facilitating adoptions unless they fully comply with this law. As previouly stated,  H.R. 1681 is so poorly written that these organization can't be sure when they are in violation of the law.  Many feel that the ambiguity in the law is intentional.   Again I understand the LGBT communities desire to be able to adopt and I believe a law could be written to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual preference. But this law goes overboard and disenfranchises Catholic's and Christian social services from offering adoption services]

To begin with this bill does not address or establish that there even exists a nationwide prohibition against adoption by individuals in this affected community.  A simple Google search for the terms "gay and lesbian adoptions" reveals there are, in my opinion, significant resources available to gay and lesbian couples who want to adopt. One web site,  Gay Adoption US  claims that over 4% of adoptions in the US are to Gay and Lesbian couples.  While it may be true that adoption services will not place children in homes where the personal behavior, beliefs and practices of the prospective adoptive partens puts the child at risk this prohibition is not unique to this new "protected class" of individuals

This Graphic is from the Gay Adoption US web site linked to above.

But for the sake of argument let’s assume that there does exist a rigid, universal, prohibition against adoption placements in LGBT homes.  I still would not support this bill as written and I would urge others to rethink their positions.  We must first think of what is in the best interests of the children.  The authors of this bill clearly did not have that in mind.  They wrote the bill for two reasons 1.To appeal to the LGBT community and create a new "protected class" of individuals.  2. It appears to me the real intention of the bill is to drive out private Catholic and Christian adoption agencies in favor of a government run and regulated national adoption agency.  

Must see Video on the dangers of this bill.

Again, what is being overlooked by the individuals and groups that support this bill is that religious charities are the most cost-effective in providing these services.  This is true for many reasons but one reason is they are not mired in a government bureaucracy and they are not for profit.  They do this work to fulfill the calling of their inner beliefs, their religion. The Heritage Foundation has an  excellent article that address the problems that have already occurred.  As one poster on the Hertage Foundation site noted in Illinois a recently enacted law similar to H.R. 1681 essentially prevents the State of Illinois to contract with the Church, the cost of providing these services for needy kids will increase and because of the terrible budget and debt issues in Illinois it's going to mean that more of those kids in need will have to remain in need."  Is this what the proponents of this bill want?    Hopefully,  H.R. 1681 will never see the light of day.
Eve Barker,mother, shown when she was a child.
At 17, pregnant and alone she took her baby boy,
 on the train from Beulah, Michigan to the Catholic
 Home for Unwed mothers in Grand Rapids,
 Michigan 1927 and gave him up for adoption


AZurek said...

I agree with much of your analysis. Especially considering that about three months ago Roman Catholic dioceses called off “legal efforts aimed at keeping Catholic Charities of Illinois in the foster care business…agreeing to transfer more than 1,000 foster care children and staff to other agencies” (Brachear, 2011). Apparently, since March authorities “have been investigating whether religious agencies that receive public funds to license foster care parents were breaking anti-discrimination laws if they turned away openly gay parents” (Brachear, 2011). While this could be seen as a negative for the Catholic charities, the Bishop Paprocki said this decision would allow them to “focus on being more Catholic and more charitable, while less dependent

Although I still wholeheartedly support H.R. 1681’s foundation and goals, I am concerned that removing funding from thousands of Catholic adoption agencies across the nation will inadvertently cause them to close down, leaving thousands of children in need of new group homes. Unfortunately, this recent event in Illinois also makes me think H.R. 1681 will not pass without revision. Although LGBT individuals are much more accepted in today’s society, there still exists a significant amount of resistance to H.R. 1681, including religious groups/individuals, politicians, and individuals who believe H.R. 1681 infringes on traditional family model. An increase of events such as the end of Catholic Charities of Illinois involvement in the foster care business, will only provide fuel to the opposition to make sure H.R. 1681 does not become a reality as it currently stands.

Brachear, M. A. (2011, November 15). 3 diocses drop foster care lawsuit. The Chicago Tribune.
Retrieved from http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-11-15/news/ct-met-catholic-

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