Mother of five, Jessica Bates, says she was prompted by God to adopt “children who don’t have parents to love them.”
But, after she began the application process to adopt siblings from Oregon’s foster care system “to ensure they could stay together and have someone else in the family who could fully understand and relate to them,” Bates was denied.
Bates says it’s “because of my faith.”
(Video: Fox News)
“The Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) requires that individuals seeking to adopt ‘respect, accept, and support’ the gender identity and gender expression of any child the department could place in an applicant’s home,” Bates writes in an opinion piece for Fox News. “State officials demanded that I agree to use a child’s preferred pronouns, possibly take a child to Pride parades, and even potentially take an adolescent child to receive dangerous pharmaceutical interventions like hormone shots.”
Bates made clear during the application process that she would not, as a parent, compromise her faith.
“During my application process, I alerted ODHS that I would happily love and accept any child, regardless of their gender identity or expression, but I cannot say or do something that goes against my faith,” she writes. “But because state officials disapprove of my religious beliefs on human sexuality, they rejected my application, excluding me from adoption because I refused to abandon my religious beliefs.”
The widow of six years — her husband was tragically killed in a car crash — notes that Oregon’s objection to religious influences appears limited to Christians.
Wow… every belief system is acceptable in this country other than Christian morality. I don’t even know how we got here. Pathetic
— Terri Hall (@tdsimonhall777) April 4, 2023
“At the same time, Oregon accommodates people of other religious and cultural backgrounds and tries to pair children with families who are well suited to each other,” she writes. “Devout Jews need not agree to accommodate foreign gods because some children wish to erect a family shrine to Hindu gods. And a family that hunts need not refrain from eating meat because some children are vegan.”
Clearly, Bates states, Oregon is fine with faith, so long as prospective parents are willing to deny that there are only two genders.
“Oregon officials exclude people of faith from accessing any child welfare service because of our beliefs about the differences between men and women,” she explains. “According to the Oregon agency, people who hold the state’s view on gender identity are fit to parent, while those with religiously informed views that are different aren’t even qualified to babysit newborn infants.”
It’s a chilling example of the lengths liberal-led states will go to push their ideology, especially when it comes to their obsession with transgenderism.
The Constitutional right to freely practice your religion is ignored, as a politically-motivated agenda is placed even over the needs of children trapped in an overwhelmed foster care system.
State officials won’t even let me adopt kids who share my religious beliefs and would love to grow up in our household surrounded by siblings excited to welcome them into our family and worship together on Sundays. The state’s policy makes a sweeping claim that all persons like me who hold certain beliefs – beliefs held by millions of Americans from diverse religious faiths – are categorically unfit to care for children. No one is allowed to hold a dissenting view under this state orthodoxy.
But the Malheur County mom isn’t about to give up without a fight.
With help from the Alliance Defending Freedom, she’s suing Oregon “for putting politics above children.”
Gender ideology shouldn't come before children's safety and care.https://t.co/R1wXVOT4VT pic.twitter.com/736AqM29Nh
— Alliance Defending Freedom (@ADFLegal) April 6, 2023
“I’m also suing because Oregon is depriving children of loving families and forever homes,” she writes. “We need more families willing to take in children, not fewer. When the government discriminates against people of faith from adoption and foster care, it’s children in need who suffer.”
“Kids deserve better than that,” Bates states. “And that’s why I’m taking this stand. Oregon officials don’t get to pick and choose which religious or ideological views they prefer and which ones get shut out. The First Amendment protects my right to live out my faith without being penalized by the government.”
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