HHS rescinds rule protecting faith-based foster care, adoption agencies

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Nov. 18 rescinded a Trump administration rule that ensured faith-based social service agencies that provide adoption and foster care would continue receiving federal funding for services that follow their religious beliefs.

Opponents of the rule modification, put in place early this year in the waning days of President Donald Trump’s term, said it allowed agencies to use religion to discriminate against potential foster parents.

But U.S. bishops praised the rule when it was implemented, saying it allowed faith-based social service providers “to continue partnering with the government to assist children in need.”

In acting on the rule, HHS specifically rescinded waivers that allowed child welfare agencies in South Carolina, Texas and Michigan to not place children with same-sex couples in accordance with their religious belief in traditional marriage between one man and one woman.

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