By Joy Allmond
Faith-based adoption agencies in Oklahoma won’t have to allow adoptions by same-sex couples under a bill awaiting the governor’s signature.
The bill, approved by the Oklahoma legislature, provides conscience protection for faith-based agencies that say it would go against their religious or moral convictions to approve an adoption application submitted by a same-sex couple.
The bill states: “No private child-placing agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement would violate the agency’s written religious or moral convictions or policies.”
State Sen. Greg Treat introduced the bill, known as S.B. 1140, in February. Now it will head to the desk of Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.
Seven other states, including Alabama, South Dakota, and Texas, have passed similar laws. Georgia and Kansas have similar measures pending.
LGBTQ advocacy groups have criticized S.B. 1140, claiming the bill would hinder the placement of children in homes and discriminates against same-sex couples.
Oklahoma privatized its foster and adoption recruitment, training, and placement in 2012. Those efforts, previously run by the Department of Human Services, are now carried out through private adoption agencies.
Since this change, new child welfare agencies have been established, and the number of children in the foster care system has decreased from 11,500 in 2015 to 8,600 today, according to WORLD magazine.
UPDATE: Gov. Fallin has signed the bill into law.
- Christian Couple’s Religious Freedom Harmed Over Easter Bunny Disagreement
- How a Playground in Missouri Just Helped Your Religious Liberty
- Americans: Religious Liberty Declining, but Christians Complain Too Much
JOY ALLMOND (@joyallmond) is managing editor of Facts & Trends.