Here’s How the Adoption Protection Act Hearings Went

March 23
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Dear Friends,

Thank you for responding in force to our “call to action” last week. Nearly 200 of you contacted the members of the legislature and asked them to support the Adoption Protection Act. Several lawmakers told me they were impressed by the level of response.

You made a difference – but the work isn’t finished.

Hearings for HB 2687 (House) and SB 401 (Senate) went well. Proponents included Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, Kansas Catholic Conference, Bethany Christian Services, Catholic Charities, The Truth Caucus, Concerned Women for America, American Family Action of Kansas, a birth mother, several adoptive parents, and leaders of several private, faith-based adoption providers. Importantly, Department of Children and Families provided testimony in support.

On the other side were Equality Kansas, the ACLU, the Kansas Bar Association, and a few other groups. Adoptive parents in same-sex relationships testified as well. Sadly, they were misinformed about the bill, but in questioning we were able to correct their understanding. The Adoption Protection Act would not change their legal right to adopt.

The most alarming aspect of the opposition testimony was the insistence that state funds should not be given to groups that “discriminate.” Now, the fact is that private, faith-based adoption agencies do not receive state funding for adoptions. Nevertheless, the opposition insisted this was a problem. Their position is contrary to the long American tradition of recognizing the vital contributions faith-based agencies make to their communities. Creating a litmus test over sexual politics that bars people of faith from participating in the public square is a violation of a fundamental First Amendment right and would only result in fewer services for people in need.

What’s next?

To move ahead, the Adoption Protection Act must be “worked.” (A hearing in which members of the committee introduce and vote on amendments, etc.) The Chairman of the House committee has yet to schedule a hearing to work the bill.

He needs to hear directly from you.

Representative Barker’s office number is (785) 296-7674. His email is john.barker@house.ks.gov. The message is simple: “Please work the Adoption Protection Act as soon as possible.”

 When you call, you will reach his assistant. You may ask to speak to him or simply leave a message with his assistant.

 That’s it. Small message – big implications.

Sincerely,

Eric Teetsel
President and Executive Director