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Can states restrict who can adopt based on religion?

A Texas law that allows child welfare providers to halt and deny adoptions to same-sex parents based on the providers' religious beliefs is a discriminatory law that doesn't sit well with other states. One in particular, California, has now banned state-funded travel to Texas as a way of showing its support to the families the law denies.

The attorney general's office stated that the Texas House Bill 3859 allows for discrimination that could disqualify families from the the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community from adopting through the state's foster or adoption system. Not only is that discriminatory, but it is holding back children who could be placed in loving homes.

The California Department of Justice (CDOJ) stands against discrimination, and it believes that any laws that hurt individuals around the country need to be addressed. The CDOJ does not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ communities, so therefore, has cancelled and banned all state-funded travel to the state of Texas.

The same bill also allows organizations to send children to religious schools and to refuse to contract with organizations that don't have the same religions as they do. The organization is required by law to refer parents it denies based on religion to another organization for help with adoption or fostering.

People of any religion or background have a right to seek to adopt. It is discriminatory to turn someone away because of his or her religion or sexual preferences. If you've been dealing with struggles to adopt because of discrimination, your attorney can help you fight back and begin the process to bring home your child as soon as possible.

Source: Texas Tribune, "Citing religious refusal of adoption rule, California bans state travel to Texas," Matthew Watkins, accessed July 18, 2017

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