Congressman Robert Aderholt Offers Amendment to Aid Children and Families in Adoption and Foster Care Services
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) today released the following statement after the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment the Congressman introduced to prevent government religious discrimination regarding child welfare agencies.
“The amendment I offered today (Wednesday) and which was approved by the House Appropriations Committee, will address two serious problems currently facing our nation. First, the current opioid epidemic has caused the number of children in foster care across America to skyrocket. Here in Alabama, we have seen a 30% increase in just the last four years. These are children who are in desperate need of finding forever families.
“Secondly, several states and localities across the country are not allowing religious organizations, such as Catholic Charities and Bethany Christian Services, to operate child welfare agencies. The reason for this is simply because these organizations, based on religious conviction, choose not to place children with same-sex couples.
“The amendment I introduced seeks to prevent these governments from discriminating against child welfare providers on the basis that the provider declines to provide a service that conflicts with its sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions, and furthermore, it would require the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold 15% of federal funds for child welfare services from states and localities that discriminate against these agencies.
“As co-chairman of the House Coalition on Adoption, my goal was straightforward: to encourage states to include all experienced and licensed child welfare agencies so that children are placed in caring, loving homes where they can thrive. We need more support for these families and children in crisis, not less.”
In Washington, Congressman Aderholt serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies for the powerful House Appropriations Committee; he is also a member of the Committee’s Defense Subcommittee, the Committee’s Commerce, Justice, and Science Subcommittee, and the Helsinki Commission.
For more information about Aderholt’s work in Congress visit: www.aderholt.house.gov.