Amara is an open and affirming foster care organization and values all our foster families for the love and care they provide for children. We stand in opposition to discrimination of any kind—especially discrimination that prevents prospective foster parents, including LGBTQ people, single parents, or those who practice a faith other than Christianity, from caring for children who need a stable and supportive home. This is why we strongly disagree with the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) decision to allow South Carolina to contract with a child welfare provider who refuses to serve prospective foster parents who do not share the provider’s religious beliefs.
As Cathryn Oakley, Human Rights Campaign’s State Legislative Director & Senior Counsel says: “Every decision that is made by a provider of child welfare services must be grounded in doing what is the best interest of the child, period. Providing care for these kids is critically important, and too many kids languish in the foster care system because there aren’t enough foster and adoptive parents for each child. Allowing a federal contractor the ability to refuse to work with qualified prospective parents – limiting the pool of prospective parents even further – is directly counter to the best interests of the children waiting for families.”