Governor Kelly Policy Flies in The Face of The Adoption Protection Act

July 22

Late last week the Kansas Department of Children and Families, at the directive of Governor Kelly, issued a policy directive that will require all foster families and child placement agencies to comply with her sexual ethic. She has made it clear – she cares more about identity politics than about ensuring children are in loving homes.

The foster care system was never meant to be used for a social experiment. Children needing foster care do not care about sexual politics as much as Governor Kelly – they just need homes and loving families to help them. This policy is vague and will lead many foster families to fear repercussions for holding to the basic understanding that male and female are distinct and different.

Several high-level items that the guidance requires:

  • Will require a foster family to call a child by the child’s preferred pronoun. It implies that families who fail to do so will be endangering the physical and emotional well-being of foster children.
  • Will offer foster families “training” in order to ensure that they comply with this guidance.
  • Will require a foster family to place a boy who claims he is a girl in the same room with a biological female if the family does not have separate rooms for each child.
  • Will require child placement agencies (which are protected by the Adoption Protection Act from discrimination) to collaborate with this directive even if it violates their sincerely held religious beliefs.
  • Will mandate that child placing agencies hide a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity when placing children (i.e. a foster family may have a home full of girls and be told that they are receiving another girl from the agency, only to find out that the child is biological male once the child enters the home).

This directive has been received by multiple foster agencies who place children across Kansas. The clear message is “conform to our ideology or get out.” This is a fairly clear violation of the Adoption Protection Act passed during the 2018 legislative session. The Adoption Protection Act protects child placement agencies (like Catholic Charities and others) from discrimination by the government for their sincerely held beliefs.

Further, many of these policies violate not just religious beliefs but basic common sense. Most families would not allow a biological male to sleep in the same room as their young daughter.

The provision that does not allow the child placement agency to tell the family the biological sex of the child is clearly a censorship provision. This provision quite literally forces child placement agencies to keep a child’s biological sex secret from potential foster families. Biological sex is essential information for most foster families, particularly as children reach adolescence.

How can foster care families possibly prepare for the arrival of new child and asses the fit for a child and their family if they don’t even know their sex? The family receiving the child would have no idea the situation they are dealing with until the child walked into the home. At that point they would then be forced to adhere to DCF guidance on this situation without giving true consent to the arrangement. Foster care is wrought with unknown scenarios. However, adding confusion and even more unknowns to the foster care system does not make it better or help children in desperate need.

Governor Kelly is trying to keep this a secret. Don’t let her get away with forcing her sexual ideology on Kansas to the detriment of our children. Share this information with your family, friends, and your pastor. We need to ensure that children, families, and foster care agencies can live according to their fundamental beliefs.

Standing for the children of Kansas,

Brittany Jones
Director of Advocacy