Michigan to Faith-Based Adoption Agencies: Violate Your Beliefs or Lose Funding

March 25, 2019

by Kelvey Vander Hart


The state of Michigan has announced that funding will be cut off from adoption agencies that do not work with same-sex couples, forcing faith-based organizations to choose between their religious beliefs and the bottom line.

This decision, announced Friday, comes as a result of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) suing the state on behalf of two lesbian couples. The legal settlement was negotiated between ACLU lawyers and Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office. In exchange for this new policy for adoption agencies, the plaintiffs in the case will be dismissing their claims and paying their own fees and costs.

Michigan holds contracts with 59 private adoption and foster care agencies across the state, and 20 of them are religiously affiliated. A law passed in 2015 protected these agencies in citing religious convictions when choosing not to place children with same-sex couples.

The lawsuit was filed in 2017 after two lesbian couples approached St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services in an attempt to adopt. Both organizations declined to facilitate the adoptions due to their religious beliefs.

This new policy will require the state to terminate all contracts with any organization that does not willingly allow same-sex couples to adopt or foster through them, effectively cutting off funding to many faith-based organizations. Lori Windham, an attorney with the law firm Becket who works on religious freedom cases, commented:

The Michigan AG and the ACLU are trying to stop the state from working with faith-based adoption agencies…The result of that will be tragic. Thousands of children will be kept from finding the loving homes they deserve.

While this settlement is in violation of the 2015 law that protected the status of faith-based agencies, it is not surprising, as Attorney General Nessel is the first lesbian elected to statewide office in Michigan. During her campaign she commented, “Discrimination in the provision of foster care case management and adoption services is illegal, no matter the rationale…Limiting the opportunity for a child to be adopted or fostered by a loving home not only goes against the state’s goal of finding a home for every child, it is a direct violation of the contract every child-placing agency enters into with the state.”


Kelvey Vander Hart is passionate about Jesus, conservatism, fitness, and fantastic coffee; she is also the Associate Editor at Caffeinated Thoughts. She can be followed on Twitter @kovanderhart.

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8 comments on “Michigan to Faith-Based Adoption Agencies: Violate Your Beliefs or Lose Funding”

  • Mary Moore says:

    Why is it wrong to allow the agencies to choose their own guidelines? And then let the parents were putting children up for adoption or people who are adopting children go to the agency that supplies their demand.

    • jk105 says:

      So according to Mary, agencies can deny services to black couples (or any couple it hates, like Jews) because they can have their own guidelines…with tax money to support their discrimination.
      That sounds hateful and unlawful.

    • jui says:

      What is wrong is that Mary should be content with the fact that right wing religionists are perfectly free to engage in their abominable discriminatory guidelines. What they can’t do is violate the state consitition while also using the tax money of decent Americans to implement those obnoxious guidelines. Understand?

  • Linda says:

    A child should not be allowed to be adopted by same sex couples. It is hard for kids to make it with straight parents and the signals these queers send out are going to be extra hard for these children to decipher.

    • jk105 says:

      Queers? The signal you give out, Linda Old Gal, is one of vicious bigotry. I fear for the moral safety of any child that comes in your vicinity.

  • flo says:

    As a heterosexual Christian, iIfirmly believe that Jesus supports giving children a loving home no matter the sexual orientation of the married couple. I am morally repelled by the way this agency shuns gay people. Moreover I am disgusted that they want to do the discrimination with my taxes!

  • Kaysha says:

    These bigots have complete freedom to operate a business according to a their belief in a sinster force that despises gay people. We Chrustians should not be required to help fund their heineous discriminatory practices with our tax money.

  • jk105 says:

    Yes, if you insist on violating the law and operating your business according to your hateful so-called religious beliefs, then you the state doesn’t fund your depravity. I am a Christian who is cool with that.

Comments are closed.