GOP AGs slam Biden admin for new rule they say would exclude Christians from fostering kids

Nineteen Republican attorneys general are warning that the Biden administration is attempting to implement a new HHS rule that would exclude Christians from the foster care system.

The AGs are fighting to get the administration to back off from imposing the rule that would in essence ban Christian families from fostering children. They claim it could imperil the foster care system nationwide.

“Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, along with 18 of his GOP colleagues, sent a letter Monday to the Department of Health and Human Services alerting them that a new proposed rule that alters requirements for foster care families violates the Constitution and discriminates against people who practice the Christian faith,” Fox News reported.

“In addition to discriminating against religion, the attorneys general argue that the proposed rule ‘will harm children by limiting the number of available foster homes, harm families by risking kinship placements, and harm states by increasing costs and decreasing care options,'” the news outlet added.

The purported religious discrimination against Christian parents is blatantly unconstitutional in the eyes of the attorneys general and will make things even worse for foster children.

“These injuries will be suffered while HHS fails to solve a problem that the proposed rule does not even prove exists in foster care,” the AGs wrote in their letter.

“The rule, Safe and Appropriate Foster Care Placement Requirements, would mandate that foster parents and families utilize a foster child’s ‘identified pronouns, chosen name, and allow the child to dress in an age-appropriate manner that the child believes reflects their self-identified gender identity and expression,'” Fox News elaborated.

The rule also reportedly “seeks to accomplish indirectly what the Supreme Court found unconstitutional just two years ago: remove faith-based providers from the foster care system if they will not conform their religious beliefs on sexual orientation and gender identity.”

That ruling occurred in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia in 2021. The high court ruled that the city of Philadelphia violated the First Amendment when it refused to contract with a Catholic social services group unless it agreed to certify same-sex couples as foster parents.

According to the letter, HHS expected the number of foster children to increase to approximately 416,500 by 2027. That may have been low-balling the number since as of 2022, there have been 391,000 children placed in foster care according to Fox News.

The attorneys general contend that “caring for children in need is a duty of the Christian faith.” They also assert that excluding Christian families will irreparably harm the foster care system.

“The foster care system depends on individuals and organizations of faith,” the letter claims.

“States need faith-based organizations in their foster care system. The proposed rule will drive individuals and organizations of faith away, which will increase the strain on the system by reducing the number of available foster homes,” the attorneys general remarked in their letter. “The federal government should be searching for ways to increase the number of foster homes, not decrease them.”

“According to a 2002 study cited in the letter, foster parents who are recruited through a church or other religious organization foster children for 2.6 years longer than the average foster parent. And practicing Christians are three times more likely to seriously consider fostering than the general population, according to a study by the Barna Group,” Fox News stated.

As one example, the Republicans pointed to a faith-based group in Arkansas that was responsible for recruiting nearly half of the foster homes in the state. They also noted that in New Mexico, virtually every private placement foster agency is Christian.

“Joe Biden continues to harass our state and others like it by implicitly threatening to withhold federal funding for children in need if we do not conform to his ideology, but our values are not for sale,” Attorney General Marshall angrily told Fox News Digital in a statement.

“Since the first century, Christians across the globe have answered the call to provide a home and a family to children who had neither. Alabama boasts a particularly strong faith-based foster care and adoption community, and I will fight this administration for them every step of the way,” he vowed.

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