PHILADELPHIA — The City of Philadelphia has suspended, pending an investigation, its partnership with two faith-based foster agencies after learning that both decline to place children in homes without a mother and father.
The Philadelphia Department of Human Services recently discontinued any new placements by Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services following a report on the matter by the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The outlet states that two lesbians were kindly advised by a representative with Bethany Christian Services in October that the organization has never placed a child in a same-sex home. The representative then offered the women referrals to others who might do so.
In reporting on the occurrence, the Philadelphia Inquirer decided to also reach out to Catholic Social Services to ask about its practices, and was informed that the entity likewise doesn’t place children with two men or two women. The organization has never been approached by anyone in a same-sex relationship, the representative noted.
Both organizations were consequently placed under investigation and further placements of any kind were halted.
The City Council also passed a resolution to look into the Department of Human Services’ policy on working with agencies that decline to place children with homosexuals. Both Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services have contracted with the City of Philadelphia since the 1990’s and receive over $1 million in funding each year. Last year, Bethany Christian Services placed 170 children, and Catholic Social Services placed 266 children.
“Given the longstanding partnership between CSS and the city, we hope to continue our productive relationship with the City of Philadelphia to serve those among us in need,” Ken Gavin of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said in a statement.
A petition has also been launched on CitizenGo asking that the City not cut ties with faith-based organizations simply because of their convictions about the definition of marriage and family.
“Throughout the ages, a hallmark of Christianity has been the care of orphans. Christians have been revolutionary in seeing orphaned children as significant and worthy of protection,” its explanation reads. “In Victorian England, orphaned children were considered scum suitable only for workhouses until the great Christian George Muller opened the eyes of the culture through his revolutionary and compassionate care for orphans.”
“However, many on the Left are working hard to make sure Christians are barred from caring for orphaned children, it laments. “… [T]his liberal agenda [is] at the expense of orphans: having fewer orphanages and adoption agencies to care for kids is better for no one—especially not the kids.”
As previously reported, last fall, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in an effort to stop the entity from contracting with religious adoption agencies that decline to place children in homes without both a mother and a father.
“DHHS is aware that these agencies are turning away these potentially qualified families solely for religious reasons but DHHS has not stopped them from engaging in this conduct,” the complaint states. “When the State delegates its statutory child-welfare responsibilities to private agencies, those private agencies must execute their state-contracted responsibilities subject to the same requirements applicable to the State.”
James 1:27, a verse often cited by Christians surrounding the biblical responsibility to care for children, reads, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”