Letter: Adoption shouldn’t be denied due to religion

Published: 2/7/2019 12:00:58 AM

I am horrified by the “Our Turn” article in the Feb. 2 paper, “Trump puts religious beliefs over best interests of kids.” It states, “The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted South Carolina . . . an exception to a federal rule barring discrimination in federally funded child welfare programs. By doing so, the Trump administration has allowed government-contracted child welfare agencies in the state to turn away would-be foster and adoptive parents because they do not share the agency’s religious beliefs.”

Are you kidding? In the 1940s, my father’s aunt and uncle were denied adoption for this very reason. They married in 1942, “later in life,” and felt having biological children would be unsafe. My great uncle was Jewish, although non-practicing, thus they were denied adoption. He then joined my great aunt’s Protestant church, and they reapplied to adopt a child. Again they were denied, still on the basis of religion.

Clearly, this would have been a much-wanted child. His or her adopted home would have given ample love, an extended family with another adopted child, adequate money to be comfortable, solid values, and an emphasis on education, likely including college. Somewhere there is a person, now around 75 years old, who may well have experienced a much harder life than was necessary because this wonderful couple was not allowed to give this person a home.

I am shocked and disheartened to think of this happening again. Have we made no progress in the last seven decades?



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