Foster Care & Adoption

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Appeals court ruling for adoption agency applauded

NEW YORK CITY (BP) -- A federal appeals court decision in support of a Christian adoption agency has garnered excellent reviews from religious freedom advocates. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City reversed July 21 a federal court opinion that would have required New Hope Family Services to shut down if it maintained its policy of refusing to place children in the homes of same-sex and unmarried couples. The appeals court returned the case to the lower court and kept in place its November 2019 decision that blocked enforcement of that court's ruling.

ERLC commends Trump order on child welfare

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has commended President Trump's new executive order to bolster the country's child welfare system.

Baptist children’s ministries plan for uncertain future

BRIDGETON, Mo. (BP) -- Religious liberty can seem an abstract concept, but consider Kevin. Kevin is one of more than 13,000 children in Missouri's foster care system. Kevin has been waiting for adoption since he was 6. That was 10 years ago. Back in December, Kevin appeared on KOLR Channel 10 in Springfield, Mo. In a weekly segment, the station features foster kids like Kevin, who are in search of a home and forever family.

Tennessee law would protect Christian adoption agencies

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Tennessee state senators approved legislation Jan. 14 that would prohibit the state from forcing Christian or other faith-based adoption agencies to place children in homes that would "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies." Senate Bill 1304 passed the Senate by a margin of 20-6. Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville was the only Republican voting against the bill, joining the chamber's five Democrats, according to an article in The Tennessean.

Foster family plays critical role in youth minister’s journey to Christ

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (BP) -- Much of Shaq Hardy's childhood is a blur. For the first 10 years of his life, he moved from foster home to foster home, never able to put down roots. Hardy longed for a sense of home, a place where he belonged. But what Hardy does remember during that frantic decade in foster care is where he learned John 3:16 and how much Jesus loved him. Although he wouldn't come to faith in Christ until five years after he left his last foster home, this last family introduced him to Jesus. For the last several years he was in foster care, the family took him to church just about every week and even involved him in Awana. That's where he learned John 3:16.

Adoption’s ‘ironic blessing’ focus of MBTS prof’s book

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (BP) -- When Todd Chipman and his wife Julie finalized their adoption of two grade school-aged sisters, the courtroom was packed with excited members of the Kansas City, Kan., congregation that he pastors. Members of The Master's Community Church even arranged for the judge to give American Girl dolls to the sisters from the bench. So overwhelming was the church's support that the Chipmans' attorney extemporaneously added to a formal set of questions for Todd: "Can you assure the court that you will continue to give these children the kind of love you and your church are demonstrating here today?" He replied with a confident yes, and they have.

Faith agencies should be free to help children, panelists say

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The government should not prevent faith-based agencies from providing services in keeping with their beliefs to children without homes and to families opening their homes, foster-care advocates said in a Nov. 13 forum in Washington, D.C. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and the National Review Institute co-hosted a conversation about foster care and adoption during National Adoption Awareness Month. The event, held at The Heritage Foundation, occurred shortly after foster care and adoption advocates had received some encouraging news.

Moore praises HHS steps on foster care, adoption

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Southern Baptist religious freedom leader Russell Moore has praised new Trump administration actions designed to restore protections for faith-based foster-care and adoption agencies that operate by biblical convictions. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued Nov. 1 a proposed rule that revises an Obama-era regulation by ensuring religious freedom is guaranteed in its grant programs. The new rule requires HHS grant recipients to abide by federal nondiscrimination laws, and it says HHS must comply with U.S. Supreme Court opinions. The HHS also published on the same day a notice it would not enforce specific provisions in the Obama administration rule because of concerns about its implementation.

Michigan adoption agency wins in court

LANSING, Mich. (BP) -- Faith-based adoption and foster care agencies seeking to practice their religious beliefs gained an important victory Thursday (Sept. 26) in Michigan. Federal Judge Robert Jonker issued a preliminary injunction blocking Michigan from canceling the state-approved contract of St. Vincent Catholic Charities to provide foster care and adoption services. St. Vincent will be able to continue partnering with the state while the court case continues.

He has 2 mothers to provide life-giving support

WAYCROSS, Ga. (BP) -- In 1968 a young woman stood in the parking lot of a mill, waiting for a young man to get off work. Their conversation quickly became emotional, heated even. She told him she was pregnant and the baby was his. He told her to get an abortion, saying didn't want anything to do with her or the baby.