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Coalition presents research, highlights stories promoting role of faith-based adoption and foster care providers

WASHINGTON – Tuesday Alliance Defending Freedom and a group of other nonprofit organizations launched Keep Kids First, a coalition devoted to standing with faith-based adoption and foster care providers to help ensure that every child has the opportunity to find a forever home.

“Every child deserves a chance to be raised in a loving home, and faith-based adoption providers play a vital role in placing vulnerable kids in a forever family,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Sharp. “There are currently over 400,000 children in the foster care system and 100,000 eligible for adoption, but, tragically, some state and local governments are willing to discriminate against faith-based foster care and adoption providers working to address these desperate needs. No child-welfare provider should be prevented from serving children and families because the government doesn’t like their religious beliefs—this is both unlawful and unjust.”

The coalition’s website, KeepKidsFirst.com, presents research and articles describing the effectiveness of faith-based child-welfare providers at serving children, birth moms, and families. It also highlights personal stories that demonstrate the life-changing work of these providers. Among the stories is that of TJ Magee, a Delaware resident, adopted at eight years old.

“My brothers and I were born into a home full of drugs, dysfunction, and poverty, and I worked through the pain of neglect and rejection years after my parents, Mark and Angel Magee, adopted me and welcomed me and my brothers into their life,” said Magee. “I didn’t realize it at the time, but my new parents and I benefited from—and ultimately thrived because of—the patient, faith-based counseling they received from a Christian adoption agency. Any government regulation that shuts down adoption providers simply because of their religious beliefs will push vulnerable kids, like my brothers and me, off to the margins, keep them bouncing between foster care placements, and cut off the vital resources that give adoptive parents support. If our state and federal lawmakers are serious about keeping kids first, they will allow diversity and work with faith-based, as well as secular, providers.”

The coalition is composed of non-profit organizations that work with foster-care and adoption-service providers, families, birth moms, and children to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of our nation’s children by maximizing the number of providers recruiting families to provide loving homes for children who need them. Members of the coalition have joined as amici curiae  in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case challenging Philadelphia’s decision to prohibit Catholic Social Services from placing more children with families—simply because of the agency’s religious beliefs.

Coalition members include the following: Alliance Defending FreedomThe Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist CommissionFamily Policy AllianceFamily Research CouncilThe Heritage Foundation, and Wait No More

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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