Heather and Rick knew that adoption can be a difficult and emotional process. In addition to their three biological children, the couple had adopted three other children from Korea.
But when their adoption provider contacted them about adopting a newborn baby with extensive medical needs, Heather and Rick had no idea what to expect. The baby girl had been born with many of her organs outside her body. Caring for her medical needs would bring unforeseeable challenges. There would be unspeakable joy. But there would also be sacrifice.
Stepping out in faith and love, Heather and Rick made the decision to adopt the little girl, naming her Carissa. They knew that God was calling them to care for this precious little life. And they knew that their adoption provider, New Hope Family Services, would walk through the adoption process with them long after the papers were signed. (You can watch their story below.)
New Hope is an “arm-around-the-shoulder” ministry that walks with adoptive families and birth parents alike to place children in loving homes. With over 50 years of experience, New Hope is committed to preparing adoptive parents like Heather and Rick for their new responsibilities and making the adoption experience a positive one for both the child and the parents.
So, why is the State of New York trying to shut down New Hope’s adoptive services? Because the State disagrees with the faith-based provider’s policy of placing children with a mother and father committed to each other in marriage. The agency told New Hope that it must either violate its religious beliefs or shut its doors.
Alliance Defending Freedom has been arguing New Hope’s case in court for almost two years. Thankfully, it received a major win in July when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed a district court’s decision and reinstated the case. The Court of Appeals also had strong words about the importance of New Hope’s right to free speech and religious freedom.
This is great news! But while New Hope’s case remains ongoing, it’s not an isolated incident.
Right now, there is a similar case at the U.S. Supreme Court involving a faith-based foster care provider in Philadelphia. The City of Philadelphia wants to force Catholic Social Services to close because its religious beliefs, too, compel it to place children with a married mom and dad.
There are over 400,000 children in foster care in America waiting for a loving home. It doesn’t make sense for places like New York and Philadelphia to shut down faith-based providers that help place vulnerable children with loving adoptive parents. Attacking faith-based providers will reduce the number of forever homes for our nation’s most at-risk children.
These government officials are placing politics over the needs of children, while faith-based agencies like New Hope are committed to keeping kids first. Alliance Defending Freedom is proud to stand with these agencies, with loving foster and adoptive parents like Heather and Rick, and with precious children in need of a loving home like little Carissa.
Maureen Collins is a writer for ADF Legal.