Gay adoption bill could downsize Catholic agencies

As a new bill aims to bar federal funding of adoption services that do not place children with gay couples, an Illinois Catholic leader warned a similar law there downsized faith-based agencies.

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act was introduced May 7 in the U.S. House, with bi-partisan backers. Under the bill, adoption agencies receiving federal funding may not delay or deny foster parenthood on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

Nor would federally-funded agencies be able to require “different or additional screenings, processes, or procedures” for same-sex couples or individuals seeking to adopt a child.

A similar measure was enacted in July 2011 in Illinois. At that time, the state children and families department ended its contracts with Illinois Catholic Charities because the agencies’ practice of placing children only with married couples discriminated against unmarried and homosexual couples.