Religious exemption laws exacerbating foster and adoption ‘crisis,’ report finds

NBC News 
by Julia Moreau
November 22, 2018


Religious exemption laws allowing child placement agencies to deny LGBTQ prospective parents from fostering or adopting are exacerbating the current “child welfare crisis,” according to a new report from the liberal Center for American Progress (CAP), Voice for Adoption and the North American Council on Adoptable Children.

“Turning away LGBTQ prospective parents by asserting a religious exemption or taking advantage of a lack of state nondiscrimination law is a violation of this group’s rights,” the report states. “It also negatively affects the already strained child welfare system, ultimately harming the children in its care.”


In 2017, there were about 443,000 children in foster care across the U.S., according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Each year, some 50,000 children are adopted through the U.S. child welfare system, but about 20,000 others “age out” before being placed with an adoptive family, according to HHS.

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