December 15, 2011 Print

Virginia Allows Faith-Based Adoption Groups Freedom of Conscience

by Karla Dial

The Virginia Board of Social Services voted 5-1 on Wednesday on a new set of regulations allowing faith-based adoption agencies the right not to place children in households led by same-sex couples.

Of the state’s 81 private child-placement agencies, 42 are faith-based organizations. Under the new regulations, set to take effect in May, the only characteristics adoption agencies may not take into consideration when placing a child are the prospective parents’ race, national origin and ethnicity. The state allows both single and married people to adopt or become foster parents, but not cohabiting couples.

“We’re pleased that the Board of Social Services saw fit to preserve the religious freedom of our private adoption agencies here in Virginia and to continue to allow birth mothers to make the best choices of which families they think would be the most suited for their children,” said Victoria Cobb, executive director of The Family Foundation.

Though homosexual activists — and most media outlets — characterized the move as “discriminatory,” Virginia law is actually silent on the issue of sexual orientation.

“In Virginia, our law only allows adoption by married couples or single individuals. So it’s not discriminatory in that manner. We just want this to be a state where we adopt only into stable homes,” Cobb said. “The most important thing to remember is that no adult has the ‘right’ to adopt. The state has the obligation to make sure the child gets the best home.”

Watch the CitizenLink Report “Adoption Agencies Under Fire” on what happened to faith-based groups in Illinois after the state passed a law allowing same-sex civil unions.