Florida adoption discrimination bill moves to the next level

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

The Florida House’s Health & Human Service Committee voted to pass the Conscience Protection for Private Child-Placing Agencies which would allow private adoption agencies to deny someone from adopting based on religious or moral convictions.

The committee of 12 Republicans and 6 Democrats heard arguments from agencies and private citizens before taking up the vote.

“This bill puts religious purpose first ahead of the children,” said Michelle Richardson, director of public policy for the ACLU of Florida.

Arguments that Catholic organizations would need to close their doors if they were forced to adopt to someone that conflicted with their religious beliefs prompted Rep. Katie Edwards to retort “So as a single, Jewish woman raised Catholic I need not apply?”

Supporters of the bill stated that this would not discriminate against members of the LGBT community because there are other agencies that will work with them.

“I’m passionate about kids,” Rep. Fred Costello said before telling the committee how he and his wife had difficulty when they were adopting a child and had to seek the assistance of a private Catholic organization.

“I have a problem,” responded Rep. Shevrin Jones. “In one breath, we say we want the kids to be adopted but in the next breath we say go on a manhunt to find an agency.”

Rep. Jones asked what would stop these agencies from denying a couple from adopting a baby of a different race?

“If this is about the children than it needs to stay about the children,” Jones said.

Rep. Gwyndolen Clark-Reed sided with Rep. Jones. This bill “gives the implication that public dollars will be used for discrimination,” Clark-Reed said.

“This seems to violate federal law,” Rep. Colleen Burton said, citing 42USC 1981 which deals with public health and welfare.


Share this story: