June 14, 2024

Adoption and its benefits

A woman was not allowed to adopt a refugee child last week in Tennessee for no other reason than she is gay.

    Kelly Easter had applied to Bethany Christian Services adoption agency once before, but was denied. The agency said it had changed policies, so Easter applied again. However, the agency again deemed her an unfit parent based solely on who she loves.

    Easter wants to foster and adopt refugee children but she has to go through Bethany Christian Services because it is the one agency in Tennessee that handles such cases through the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement.

    Easter has sued the agency and the federal government for letting this happen. Bethany denies, not only Easter’s right to adopt and foster, but prevents children from being placed in a loving and happy home. Her legal team says Easter’s First and Fifth amendments have been violated. 

    The lawsuit says, “By preventing children under their care and custody from being placed in homes of LGBTQ people based on USCCB’s (United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) religious beliefs, the Defendants — through USCCB and its sub-grantees — not only discriminate against LGBTQ people, but also effectively disregard the non-Catholic identities and beliefs of many of the unaccompanied refugee children for whom they are responsible. This conduct potentially increases those children’s alienation and vulnerability, while denying them access to loving homes that could serve them best — all at federal taxpayers’ expense.” 

    Bethany is a Christian agency that wants to place children in Christian homes, but Easter has been a Christian her whole life and says she has a close relationship with God. She questions how the government could support a system that violates the separation of church and state.

    Easter says she is concerned for children who are being denied loving homes and wonders how they will be better off in a group setting rather than in a family that loves and cares for them. 

    The Bethany agency, and others like it, keep children from families purely because they do not mirror the holy family. Nowhere in scripture does it state this is unholy. And even if it did, children would not be damned for parental beliefs or ways of life. Denying homes hurts sweet children.

    The lawsuit is a long way from being settled, but there is hope for families that will form in the future. A life of happiness awaits children and I look forward to the day we can see smiles on their faces when they find their forever family.

Katlyn Galieti