What's New

What's New

VFA in the media: Response to South Dakota Discriminatory Legislation



LGBTQ adoptions in jeopardy

A “religious belief” law in South Dakota could allow agencies to prevent LGBTQ adoptions

By  on Mar 14, 2017

There are already too few homes for foster children in South Dakota, and a new state law that permits agencies to prevent LGBTQ parents from adopting likely won’t help.

Signed Friday, the law allows government-funded child-placement agencies that provide foster care or adoption services to decline working with people “under circumstances that conflict with any sincerely held religious belief or moral conviction.”

The law doesn’t mention the LGBTQ community specifically. However, the Human Rights Campaign called it the first law of 2017 to curtail LGBTQ rights, since agencies could deny people their services because a child identifies as LGBTQ or because prospective parents do.

This means more children may linger in foster care, advocates say.

“If you discriminate against the child or against the families waiting to adopt, you’re… reducing the number of available homes,” said Schylar Baber, executive director of Voice for Adoption, an advocacy organization that opposed the law. “When children age out of a system without permanent connections, it has lifelong consequences.”