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Christian Adoption Agency Takes New York to Court After State Tries to Shut it Down

02-19-2019

Just weeks after New York legalized abortions up until the moment of birth, a Christian adoption agency says the state is trying to force it out of business. 

New Hope Family Service sued New York in December and will appear before a federal court Tuesday in an effort to stop the state from targeting it for its religious beliefs. 

The nonprofit agency has a policy that prioritizes placing children in foster homes with a married mother and father. 

After reviewing New Hope's policies, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)  wrote a letter to the agency saying, "It was found that the agency's policy pertaining to not placing 'children with those who are living together without the benefit of marriage' or 'same-sex couples' violates Title 18 NYCRR § 421.3, and is discriminatory and impermissible."

The state gave New Hope an ultimatum: "Revise the present policy and continue the existing adoption program" or "fail to bring the policy into compliance with the regulation," in which case "OCFS will be unable to approve continuation of New Hope's current adoption program and New Hope will be required to submit a close-out plan for the adoption program."

New Hope has been operating since 1965. According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), the organization representing New Hope, the agency has never taken state funds and accepts donations from churches, grants, and individual donors. 

ADF attorney Jeana Holluck says every child deserves a mother and father.

"Banishing New Hope as a faith-based adoption provider, however, means fewer kids will find permanent homes, fewer adoptive parents will ever welcome their new child, and fewer birth parents will enjoy the exceptional support that New Hope has offered for decades. In short, everyone loses if the government forces New Hope to shut down," she said in a statement. 

"This is the first time that a faith-based adoption provider has been willing to stand up against the state and to file a lawsuit, so this is really the first type of this kind of situation," Holluck continued. "There have been numerous adoption agencies that have shut their doors because of the mandates that have come down in other states, but this is the first we're aware of an adoption provider taking on the state."

During his recent address at the National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump said his organization is "working to ensure that faith-based adoption agencies are able to help vulnerable children find their 'forever families' while following their deeply held beliefs."

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