Faith-based adoption agencies provide a critical service by placing children in loving homes. Motivated by their faith, they show life is truly cherished.
But, they face a grave threat that would compel many to shut their doors here in Georgia and is keeping many others from even coming to our state.
Increasingly, governments are forcing these critical agencies to violate their faith – undermining their reason for existence. And, in our state, we have not passed legislation that will protect against such gross overreach.
That’s why Sen. Marty Harbin’s SB 368 is so critical. It ensures that these adoption agencies will never be forced to violate their written statements of faith.
We strongly support this bill. It protects the First Amendment, honors birthmothers, preserves options to meet the needs of children, and empowers more loving families to welcome children into their homes.
This legislation was just introduced, but we believe it will be assigned to the Judiciary Committee when the Senate reconvenes on February 18th. Please reach out to the senators on the committee to encourage them to support this pro-family bill:
Chairman Jesse Stone (404) 463-1314
Bill Cowsert (404) 463-1366
Blake Tillery (404) 656-0089
Bill Heath (404) 656-3943
Harold Jones (404) 463-3942
John Kennedy (404) 656-0045
William Ligon (404) 463-1383
Elena Parent (404) 656-5109
Brian Strickland (404) 656-7454
Already, opponents of this legislation are spinning a false narrative that this is discriminatory. That is FALSE. This bill prevents discrimination against those who hold to sincere beliefs – discrimination that would make it impossible for these agencies to continue providing their vital services.
Stand firm and take action today to support our faith-based adoption agencies!
President and Executive Director
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,
Director of Advocacy
As we approach the end of 2018, it’s amazing to look back and see the victories—all of which you made possible through your prayers and support of Family Policy Alliance and our state allies. Thank you!
1. For Life!
This past year, there have been huge steps forward in the pro-life movement on both the national and state fronts. President Trump listened to your voice and is standing up for the rights of the preborn. Whether or not you voted for this President, his stand for life is unparalleled in recent administrations.>/mark>
President Trump became the first sitting president to address the March for Life. Under his administration, the Department of Health and Human Services is working to finalize a new rule that prevents taxpayer’s dollars (through Title X family planning funds) from going to abortion providers. These Title X dollars are currently Planned Parenthood’s second-largest funding stream. He reinstated and expanded the “Mexico City Policy” that blocks $9 billion in foreign aid from being used for abortions. And with his first nominee to the Supreme Court, Justice Gorsuch, the Court dismantled an unconstitutional law passed by California that would have forced pro-life pregnancy centers to become advertisers for the abortion industry.
Because of your support, states are continuing to creatively chip away at Roe v. Wade with new laws that protect women’s health, increase requirements on abortion providers to ensure they are taking care of women and recognize the humanity of preborn babies.
Idaho passed a law that requires health care professionals to report information about complications from abortions. Nebraska passed a law that provides birth certificates to families who have lost babies through a miscarriage. Eight states have passed laws that ban dismemberment abortions. Over 20 states ban abortion past a certain number of weeks based on the ability of the preborn baby to feel pain.
A recent initiative seeks to ban abortions based on a Down syndrome or disability diagnosis. Ohio and Louisiana passed this type of law, and several other states considered bills. This happened largely because people of faith like you have shared your stories about how people with disabilities have shaped lives for good.
“Whether a child is diagnosed with Down syndrome before or after birth, disability rights start at diagnosis. All human life should be valued and respected— especially in the womb. And the targeting of babies solely for the possible diagnosis of Down syndrome should not be permitted here in Pennsylvania,” said Michael Geer, president of Family Policy Alliance’s state ally, Pennsylvania Family Institute.
Idaho and Indiana passed bills that require information about abortion-pill reversals be available to women. Over a dozen states have cut taxpayer funding streams from Planned Parenthood.
There is still much to be done in protecting life in our country, but because of your voice—joined with the voices of other biblical citizens—leaders in our country are listening and taking action.
2. The Heart of Adoption
Most of us believe strongly in the right of Christians to live out our biblical citizenship by looking after orphans—children in need of loving parents. This is why thousands of biblical citizens like you urged state legislatures, through email and phone calls, to protect the constitutional rights of faith-based adoption agencies—so those agencies can do what they excel at: placing hard-to-place children in forever families.
Your efforts resulted in a spectacular victory in Kansas this past session. LGBT lobbyists poured money into Topeka, and the leading national LGBT advocacy organization even sent its president to convince legislators to vote against religious freedom for private, faith-based adoption agencies—even if that meant those agencies would have to shut their doors rather than violate their beliefs. Family Policy Alliance of Kansas rallied pro-family Kansans to speak up—resulting in not only a win for children who need homes, but also a win for religious freedom. Similar laws also passed in Oklahoma, Texas and South Dakota, again thanks to biblical citizenship!
3. Keeping the Gospel Free in California
California’s wildly controversial legislation, AB 2943, targeted religious beliefs in a truly unprecedented manner. It would have prohibited millions of people from purchasing services and resources that declare the power of Christ can overcome unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles. This bill was passed by the California Assembly and Senate, and was one formality away from being signed by the Governor. In an astonishing twist that no one anticipated, Assemblyman Evan Low pulled his own bill after tens of thousands of biblical citizens from California and across the nation reached out to him to share stories of hope and change.
Jonathan Keller, the executive director of our state ally California Family Council, which worked tirelessly to keep the Gospel free in California, declared, “We are inexpressibly grateful to Assemblyman Low for meeting personally with faith leaders over the last several months and sincerely listening to our concerns.” Praise God!
4. Protecting Male and Female
The Gender Identity issue continues to sweep across the nation in unprecedented ways. States have sought to give individuals special protections in the law based upon their “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” status. Schools have been opening their bathrooms and locker rooms to the opposite sex if a student claims they feel like the opposite sex. State administrative agencies have been caught attempting to expose our most vulnerable children to “gender transition” services. And therapists have been targeted for trying to help our children overcome unwanted same-sex attraction and gender identity struggles.
Yet, the voices of biblical citizens like you, speaking compassionate truth that our sex is innate and cannot change at will, have had a significant impact everywhere—from school officials all the way to the Trump Administration. Here are some of the ways your prayers, financial support and taking action have led to big victories:
- Our alliance of state-based policy organizations has stopped bills targeting therapists in over 20 states, including Idaho, Kansas, Maine and Colorado.
- You helped stop over 95% of sexual orientation and gender identity bills—one of the biggest tools the Left uses to attack religious freedom and free speech.
- Under the Trump Administration, multiple executive agencies—including the Departments of Defense and Education, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons— have reversed Obama-era policies that required the placement of transgender individuals with those of the opposite sex,>/mark> finding these policies to be a violation of privacy, safety and dignity.
We have made major strides this year and with your support, we will continue to stand firm in the biblical truth that God has created men and women in His image, male and female, and that our biological sex is no accident. 5. The Story You Helped Write in the 2018 Election
With your help – and with our theme verse on our lips (“The people who know their God shall stand firm and take action.” Daniel 11:32) – Family Policy Alliance stood firm and took strategic action on key races where voter data and on-the-ground reports indicated that we could have an impact. You helped make possible more than a million communications with voters in those targeted races!
And the results were encouraging. On a night that brought lots of sobering news, Family Policy Alliance won nearly two-thirds of targeted races. Since most of those were state-level races that don’t get as much attention, let me share a few highlights of how your support for Family Policy Alliance paid dividends.
As you may know, our sister organization, Family Policy Foundation®, trains on-the-rise Christian legislators and candidates at the annual Statesmen Academy®. Some of those Statesmen alumni need help winning difficult elections, so we provided assistance in 17 key Statesmen races.
Thankfully, our supported Statesmen won 14 of those races. That’s an 82 percent win rate! Now, a total of 52 Statesmen, equipped Christian men and women, will be serving you in elected office starting in January 2019!
You also helped us engage in several U.S. Senate races – most notably in North Dakota, where Family Policy Alliance’s on-the-ground presence made our work especially strategic.
Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® identified 35,000 pro-life North Dakotans who are inconsistent about getting to the polls, especially in non-presidential years. They reached those voters with live phone calls from volunteers, with mailers, and with targeted digital ads that featured a strong video exposing the radical pro-abortion record of the incumbent senator, Heidi Heitkamp.
The result was a resounding win for Kevin Cramer. Pro-lifers around the nation will benefit from having a new pro-life champion in the U.S. Senate!
As you can see, it’s been a big year for believers who care about restoring a nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive, and life is cherished!
We look back on 2018 with hearts full of gratitude for all God has done—and for all He has done through you.
And His calling doesn’t stop with the end of the year! Next week, we plan to share with you what to expect as we ring in the new year!
We can’t thank you enough for your prayers and support of Family Policy Alliance.
May God bless you and your family,
President & CEO
That didn’t take long.
In her first official press conference since winning the race for governor, Laura Kelly listed a number of policy goals, including expanding access to marijuana and gambling. She also pledged to have an Executive Order ready on Day 1 providing special protections to LGBT state employees. There is zero evidence of LGBT discrimination in state government.
Most importantly, Laura Kelly was asked about the Adoption Protection Act (which she derisively calls the “adoption discrimination act”). Kelly pledged to review the law and explore options to undermine it. Tom Witt, of Equality Kansas, encouraged the Governor-elect to simply ignore the law.
Throughout our fight to pass these protections, we were asked about the need for the law. “Faith-based adoption agencies don’t have anything to worry about,” we were told. When we explained that ministries had been shuttered around the country by the stroke of a governor’s pen, we were scoffed at, as if that couldn’t happen in Kansas.
Thankfully, we acted when we did, and God blessed our efforts. Laura Kelly’s obsession with a radical sexual agenda matters more to her than finding homes for orphans. Your future governor has made clear her disdain for people of faith and their selfless contributions to the community.
And she hasn’t even been inaugurated yet.
Are you ready for the next four years? Family Policy Alliance of Kansas is ready. We aren’t going anywhere. We’ll be standing side-by-side with advocates of life, family, and religious freedom to ensure that your voice is heard and your values are protected in Topeka.
Thank you for supporting us by reading these emails, lifting us up in prayer, and supporting us financially.
President and Executive Director
Plus a brand-new video!
By Autumn Leva, Vice President of Strategy for Family Policy Alliance®
Many believers may not have much personal experience in the world of child welfare—I confess I didn’t either until I started working on this issue for Family Policy Alliance.
But here’s what makes the most common sense to me. When a birth mother wants or needs to place her child for adoption, she should be able to choose which adoption agency she works with. Similarly, adoptive families should be free to choose an agency that best aligns with their values.
And, no matter what, every child in need of a family and every courageous birthmom who pursues adoption should be at the center of every state’s adoption policies.
What do you think?
Here are a few reasons we think Christian adoption agencies need to matter to everyone, both believers and nonbelievers, those involved in adoption and those who never will be.
And be sure to check out this new video!
Christian adoption agencies matter…to everyone!
Shutting down faith-based adoption agencies is one of the Left’s newest tactics to silence people of faith. They believe that an agency that operates as a ministry, not a business, such as by placing children in homes with a married mother and father, shouldn’t be allowed in the state.
For example, in Colorado, when a bill was introduced to protect the right of faith-based agencies to continue to operate according to their beliefs, a Senator from Boulder admitted on-record that he believes that faith-based agencies should be shut down, rather than serving children and families!
If the Left succeeds at shutting down even ministries that do one of the most honorable works that exists—finding families for children in need—then the right of believers to freely live out their faith, or the right of anyone who disagrees with the government’s view on any particular issue to speak out, is severely threatened.
This is why protecting faith-based adoption agencies matters to everyone—if faith-based ministries that care for children can be silenced, then no one’s right to speak or live out their beliefs is safe.
Christian adoption agencies matter to birthmoms
Placing a child for adoption can be an extremely difficult time for a birthmother. When a birthmom is free to choose an agency that she believes will meet her needs, as well as help her place her child in a home that best aligns with her hopes and values for her child, she will be better supported throughout the entire process.
In fact, many faith-based agencies work specifically to minister to birthmothers, providing them care, support, and counseling—even if they ultimately choose not to place their child for adoption.
Christian adoption agencies matter to adoptive families
Many adoptive parents come to adoption from a place of grief and hurting in their own struggle to have children, and the wait for an adoptive child can be long and difficult. Adoptive families should be free to work with an agency they trust to meet their needs as they prepare their home for an adoptive child. Agencies that better understand the family’s values will be the best to support that family on their journey to adoption.
Plus, practicing Christians are twice as likely to adopt a child. When Christian families are free to work with agencies that share their values, we can continue to ensure that even more believers are heeding the biblical call to care for the orphans and the widows.
Christian adoption agencies matter to children
The best way to help children in need of a forever home is to increase opportunities for them to find a forever family and prevent even more children landing in the states’ already backed-up foster care system. Ensuring that faith-based agencies can continue their ministries in every state provides more opportunities for children to be served by even more agencies and families.
Plus, faith-based adoption agencies excel at finding homes for hard-to-place children—those with special needs, older children, and the severely abused.
Here’s how you can help protect faith-based agencies and the families they serve in your state:
Congress is considering a federal bill that would ensure that states that receive taxpayer dollars for any child welfare programs can’t exclude faith-based adoption agencies from operating in their states.
Family Policy Alliance has been working in coalition with other national allies to support this bill, and we need your help to get the message to every U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator that this bill is important to all of us!
Please help by using our Action Center to send a message instantly to your own Representative and two Senators, asking them to support this bill. It takes less than 2 minutes to add your name and click send!
Family Policy Alliance met Adrian when she came to the Colorado Capitol with us and our state ally, Colorado Family Action, to ask lawmakers in that state to protect faith-based adoption agencies. This was when one Senator from Boulder boldly admitted on record that he believes faith-based agencies should be shut down, rather than serving children and families in Colorado!
After Colorado lawmakers refused to advance this common sense bill, Adrian shared her story as a birthmom with the Christian Post.
“When my baby girl was born, I held her tight and told her, ‘I’ll always love you.’ Leaving the hospital without my daughter was the single hardest thing I’d ever done.” …
Earlier this week, we asked you to encourage Rep. Kevin Yoder to support a bill to protect the religious freedom of faith-based adoption providers in their vital work to place kids in forever families. Dozens of you reached out to Rep. Yoder via our Action Center. Thank you!
I’m happy to report that yesterday Rep. Yoder voted in favor of this important measure. We appreciate his support that helped move these protections one step closer to passage. Please take a moment to thank him on our Action Center.
President and Executive Director
by Eric Teetsel, President and Executive Director of Family Policy Alliance of Kansas
In a recent editorial, Patrick Miller asks, “does the State choose a system where one citizen has the license to limit another citizen’s rights?”
Miller, assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas, is concerned by the passage of the Adoption Protection Act, which affirms the right of faith-based adoption and foster care service providers to operate consistent with their sincerely-held religious beliefs, enshrining in law what has been practiced in Kansas for more than 60 years. Describing the bill, Miller writes, “If you are a LGBT Kansan, the state has essentially singled you out and placed you in a formal ‘separate but equal’ system.”
On Twitter, Miller elaborated on this comparison to Jim Crow, the legal system of forced racial segregation, saying that as a Southerner, support for, or indifference to, the Adoption Protection Act was reminiscent of his home state’s history of legal bigotry. “Welcome to the pre-1964 South,” Miller wrote.
This sort of rhetoric is all too common in contemporary debates over religious freedom and sex. During debate on the Adoption Protection Act, Rep. Diana Dierks suggested the bill was like something from Nazi Germany, while Sen. Barbara Bollier described the teaching of the Catholic Church as “sick discrimination.”
This is precisely the language Justice Anthony Kennedy had in mind when he wrote of “a clear and impermissible hostility toward the sincere religious beliefs” of baker Jack Phillips, in violation of the First Amendment, in his majority opinion in the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop case.
But the problem with this rhetoric isn’t merely its hostility toward people of faith. Rhetoric like that of Miller’s displays a troubling ignorance about religion and its role in society and misconstrues the place of LGBT people in contemporary culture, demeaning the injustices experienced by the black community in this country.
Miller makes several claims about LGBT discrimination, yet he cites no evidence, even anecdotal, to show that anyone in Kansas is experiencing it. Meanwhile, June was National LGBT Pride Month, and if you walked around Oak Park Mall you would see rainbow décor and “Equality” slogans on virtually every storefront. Indeed, in Kansas and throughout the country, the strongest proponents of LGBT activism are corporations like AT&T, Delta and ESPN. A person can’t use a cellphone, fly on an airplane, or buy a pair of khakis without tacitly endorsing homosexuality. And Miller would have us believe we are living in an age of Jim Crow?
The reason for such furious backlash against laws like the Adoption Protection Act is plain. LGBT activists can’t accept that a segment of the population will not bend the knee to their agenda. Tim Gill, a multimillionaire donor bankrolling the LGBT movement, told Rolling Stone, “We’re going to punish the wicked.”
New York Times reporter Josh Barro echoed this when he tweeted, “Anti-LGBT attitudes are terrible for people in all sorts of communities. They linger and oppress, and we need to stamp them out, ruthlessly.”
Indeed, it is activists like Gill, Barro, and Miller who advocate a system that limits another citizen’s rights – the First Amendment rights of people of faith.
Their position stands in contrast to the love and kindness demonstrated by people of faith like Jack Phillips and florist Barronelle Stutzman. Each welcomed LGBT customers for years before being sued and penalized by their states for declining a specific service in a unique circumstance. The crux for Phillips and Stutzman wasn’t the orientation of their customer, but the duty they owed to God. They couldn’t, in good conscience, use their God-given gifts and talents to celebrate an event that their faith teaches is immoral.
Faith-based adoption providers are in a similar circumstance. Several of those who serve kids in need of a family are motivated by a faith that teaches them to care for orphans. That same faith teaches that God designed the family to consist of a mother and father, each of whom plays an irreplaceable role in the life of their child. For this reason, groups like Catholic Charities don’t place with single parents, either – not even the pope. This isn’t discrimination, but a sincere belief about what’s best for the child.
Kansans are at our best when we live peacefully with those who don’t always share our beliefs and values. Granting special new legal protections to “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” is an unnecessary, bad idea that runs counter to this vision of tolerance and mutual respect.
I am not going to lie, this one hurt. As I celebrated a great victory for families and for our movement, I—an intensely competitive person—was stung by the fact that my colleague beat me to the punch.
First, the good news: Family Policy Alliance of Kansas, led by my esteemed colleague Eric Teetsel, passed a bill that will allow the state’s faith-based adoption agencies to operate with assurance that they will not be compelled to perform adoptions that violate their conscience.
Now, here’s the bad news: weak politicians here in Georgia refused to pass such a bill this past session.
But, thankfully, I have another piece of good news: we are not giving up the fight!
We cannot allow the liberal agenda to drive faith-based adoption agencies out of our state and keep others from coming. This not only violates the First Amendment, it does great harm to the children who depend on their services. This bill, quite frankly, is a no-brainer!
Our team is working on more research, talking points, and materials to make sure that this fight can be successful in Georgia in 2019. If you are committed to making certain that we can effectively lobby this bill to passage, please make an online contribution today.
I congratulate my good friend, Eric, on his hard work and success in Kansas. What a great testimony to God’s grace! But, if I am being honest, I am also hurt that he beat me on this one (trust me, it’s going to be a one-time experience for him)!
Let’s partner together and show that Georgia won’t let Kansas stay in the lead for long!
Protecting Faith in Adoptions,
President & Executive Director
PS. Yes, I know I have bombarded you with election materials, but this election is now less than 2 weeks away. If you haven’t voted already, please consider this issue as you vote. I am proud to say that our endorsed candidates for Governor (Michael Williams) and Lt. Governor (David Shafer) were big supporters of this legislation.
PPS. I want to take a moment of personal privilege to acknowledge my wife’s birthday today. My beautiful bride, Spencer, is the delight of my heart and is far more than I deserve. She has stood by my side, supported me, and been an incredible mother to our 3 crazy boys. That’s a HARD job!!! I am so grateful for God’s great grace in bringing her into my life.
Just one step remains before Adoption Protection becomes law – the governor’s signature.
Immediately after the decisive vote in the Kansas Senate, Gov. Colyer’s team released this statement: “Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies are key to the fabric of our communities. I look forward to signing this bill because it increases the opportunities for needy children to find loving homes.”
Opponents haven’t given up. Left-wing activists are pressuring Gov. Colyer to veto the bill. Our coalition is confident that’s not going to happen, but we want the Governor to hear from Kansans across the state how much we appreciate his commitment to life, family, and religious freedom.
Please write or call Gov. Colyer and tell him, “Thank you for supporting the Adoption Protection Act!”
Email: Contact Governor Colyer directly through is website
Office Phone: (785) 296-3232
President & Executive Director