Case closed: Catholic nonprofit can keep its doors open to serve thousands of vulnerable MI children

To resolve a lawsuit that Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys filed on behalf of Catholic Charities West Michigan, state officials have agreed the child welfare provider can care for children according to its religious beliefs without government punishment.

As part of a stipulated court order and judgment, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services conceded that it would violate the First Amendment to take any adverse action against Catholic Charities because the ministry prioritizes placing foster and adoptive children in homes with a married mother and father. The department also agreed to pay $250,000 toward the nonprofit’s attorney’s fees and costs.

“More adoption and foster care providers mean more children have the chance to be adopted or cared for by a foster family,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus. “Catholic Charities West Michigan meets a critical need as one of the region’s largest social service providers, reuniting children with their birth parents and placing foster kids in loving homes. We are pleased Catholic Charities can continue its vital mission serving vulnerable families in Michigan without being punished by the government simply because it’s operating according to its religious beliefs—the very reason the ministry exists in the first place.”

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