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Adoption and Foster Care Providers May Be Prevented from Helping Kids Find a Home

My wife was in tears.

“You have to see this video,” she said. “It’s such an amazing story.”

The video was about Sebastian, an orphan from Colombia, and his adoption by the Barkey family, a family of six in California. You may be one of the over 60 million people who have already watched the video…the majority of whom were in tears by the end.

Whether I cried is irrelevant. But here’s the point. The video is both heart-breaking and life-giving; heart-breaking because you see an 11-year-old orphan returning to Colombia after his would-be family tearfully says goodbye; life-giving because soon after, you witness the incredible joy on Sebastian’s face – and the faces of his will-be siblings – as they give him the news that he is going to be a part of their family. That he is going to have brothers … a sister … a mother … and a father.

This family changed Sebastian’s life forever, and Sebastian will change their lives forever.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Historically, it’s a chance to celebrate families like the Barkeys, and to rejoice with children like Sebastian. It’s an opportunity to lend support both to adoption providers and those they serve. And it’s a time to consider whether adoption or foster care might be right for your family.

This year, it’s also a time to consider the possibility of many more heart-breaking moments. That’s because faith-based adoption and foster care providers across the country are facing a crisis. The ACLU and like-minded groups are targeting these providers and the beliefs on which they operate their business.

Why? Because some of these faith-based adoption and foster care providers believe that every child deserves the chance to be raised by a father and mother. For that reason, they choose not to place children with couples who are in a same-sex relationship.

To the ACLU and others, such a stance is unfathomable and unacceptable. These so-called defenders of freedom and tolerance are therefore actively promoting laws that force adoption and foster care providers to abandon their faith-based principles or shut down their adoption and foster care services.

Any reasonable person can understand the implications of such a campaign. If an adoption or foster care provider is unable to connect children with loving families, fewer children will find a forever home. More children will suffer heart-breaking moments without the life-giving experience Sebastian and the Barkey family had.

This is why Keep Kids First exists. As a coalition of organizations that care about the lives and futures of children, Keep Kids First is determined to help ensure that every child has a chance to be adopted into a home. To have a mother and a father.

What’s more, we recognize that the First Amendment allows all adoption and foster care providers to operate according to their beliefs without fear of government punishment.

If we want to be able to celebrate more life-giving moments, we need to stand with those organizations who are seeking to bring families together.

James Gottry

Director of Marketing, Legal Counsel

James Gottry serves as director of marketing and legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom.

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