Michigan Governor Signs Controversial Religious Freedom Adoption Law

Moyank24

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Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed a law Thursday that will allow faith-based adoption agencies to cite religious beliefs as reason to not serve potential adoptive parents.

The governor said in a statement that the new legislation is aligned with the state's existing adoption practices.

After the package of bills passed the legislature on Wednesday, Snyder's office said the governor would review it closely.


"The state has made significant progress in finding more forever homes for Michigan kids in recent years and that wouldn’t be possible without the public-private partnerships that facilitate the adoption process," Snyder said in a statement Thursday. "We are focused on ensuring that as many children are adopted to as many loving families as possible regardless of their makeup."

Critics of the legislation, however, say the bills give agencies license to discriminate against potential parents based on sexual orientation, religion and marital status -- while still being funded by taxpayers.

The law allows agencies to deny services if they conflict with "sincerely held religious beliefs contained in a written policy." It also prohibits the state from taking any action against agencies that do so, including stripping public funds or otherwise "discriminating" against them.
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So much for the best interests of the children.

And the fact that these agencies can discriminate without repercussion and still receive public funds is ridiculous.
 
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malman89

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Why force a Jewish specialized adoption agency to place kids with Muslims?
Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure none of these agencies are forced to place any of the kids referred to them. It's just in their best interest to do so as they're typically compensated based on units of service provided.

Just another awful piece of legislation passed in this joke of a state. Passing crap like this while we have miniature craters in our roads. Can't find time to find a billion dollars for that, but can find time to pass plenty of stupid laws like this.
 
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Thomas Veil

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If Thomas Frank ever wants to do a sequel to "What's the Matter with Kansas?"...

I'm just sayin', you know...Michigan.

And why are we giving public money to anything faith-based? They want the government "out of their hair", but they love our money.
 

Moyank24

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Why force a Jewish specialized adoption agency to place kids with Muslims?
If you're in the business of finding homes for children, the first priority should be the quality of the home/family. The vetting process should depend on that and not religion/sexuality/skin color, etc...

Would you be in favor of turning down a more "qualified" muslim family in favor of a less "qualified" jewish family? Because really, who gives a **** about what's best for the kids? These laws are nothing more than selfishness.
 

ElectronGuru

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Yeah, I'm pretty confused. I thought the whole point was family values. What could be more family than quality of life for children? Yet even while children pile up in foster care waiting to be adopted, we fight to increase their prevalence while also reducing the number of eligible families in which to place them?

Seems to me that we're letting ideology get in the way of ideals.
 

tgara

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If you're in the business of finding homes for children, the first priority should be the quality of the home/family. The vetting process should depend on that and not religion/sexuality/skin color, etc...

Would you be in favor of turning down a more "qualified" muslim family in favor of a less "qualified" jewish family? Because really, who gives a **** about what's best for the kids? These laws are nothing more than selfishness.

History shows that in other states, many faith-based adoption agencies in other states (Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and Washington DC) have closed because they were forced to go against their religious beliefs when it came to placing children in adoptive homes. I'm sure they believe that it's in the best interests of the child for the child to be raised in a traditional household with one mother and one father, and not in a gay household. But when forced by the state to serve gay applicants and place children with a same-sex couple, those agencies will choose to close rather than violate their religious beliefs. However, when those agencies close, it puts tremendous pressure on the adoption system. The remaining agencies get backlogged and causes major delays in placing children (not in the children's best interest, clearly).

What's not being reported, and what has not been mentioned here, is that the new Michigan law includes language that requires that if an agency denies service based on religious beliefs, that agency is required to provide the applicant with a referral to another agency that would serve them. Here's the relevant text:

(4) If a child placing agency declines to provide any services under subsection (2), the child placing agency shall provide in writing information advising the applicant of the department's website, the Michigan adoption resource exchange or similar subsequently utilized websites, and a list of adoption or foster care service providers with contact information and shall do at least 1 of the following:

(a) Promptly refer the applicant to another child placing agency that is willing and able to provide the declined services.

(b) Promptly refer the applicant to the webpage on the department's website that identifies other licensed child placement agencies
Full text of the law is here: http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(k1miwotgpo45jsy02cw42s52))/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-722-124e-added&query=on


In my view, this is a reasonable compromise. The faith-based agencies can operate in accordance with their faith and avoid closing as they have done in other states. If they are denied service, the gay couple applicants must be referred to an agency that can help them, so they still have an opportunity to adopt, just not through a faith-based agency. And, the child will find a home in as expedited a manner as possible.
 

Moyank24

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I'm sure they believe that it's in the best interests of the child for the child to be raised in a traditional household with one mother and one father, and not in a gay household. But when forced by the state to serve gay applicants and place children with a same-sex couple, those agencies will choose to close rather than violate their religious beliefs. However, when those agencies close, it puts tremendous pressure on the adoption system.
Who cares what they believe, especially if it isn't true? That's the whole point. What if they believe that red-headed parents are evil and it's not in the best interests of the children to be adopted by them. I guess that's cool too?

And, frankly, if they are closing down shop because of this, THEY are the problem. Not the law. THEY are putting pressure on the adoption system. Not the law. THEY don't care about the best interests of the children.

What's not being reported, and what has not been mentioned here, is that the new Michigan law includes language that requires that if an agency denies service based on religious beliefs, that agency is required to provide the applicant with a referral to another agency that would serve them. Here's the relevant text:
Oh, they have to provide a referral, a link to a website, and a list of other adoption agencies? Well that makes it all better. Like the people couldn't do that themselves? It's just a small, insignificant way to justify legalized discrimination. And it's ridiculous.
 
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ElectronGuru

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History shows that in other states, many faith-based adoption agencies in other states (Massachusetts, Illinois, California, and Washington DC) have closed because they were forced to go against their religious beliefs when it came to placing children in adoptive homes. I'm sure they believe that it's in the best interests of the child for the child to be raised in a traditional household with one mother and one father, and not in a gay household.
I don't know about the history of cause, but in the history of effect:

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/cb/children_waiting2012.pdf

Children waiting for adoption in Massachusetts, Illinois, and California went down (DC isn't listed). Meanwhile, in Mississippi and Utah (the 2 most "protective" states), the number of children waiting to be adopted went up.

Turns out, the sky didn't fall. If children were left waiting, it wasn't because PDHSB decided to withdraw their (conditional) love over some insult. Ideology of protecting children is getting in the way of actually protecting children.
 
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