Bethany Christian Services, the largest Protestant adoption agency in the United States, has decided to begin placing children with LGBT individuals starting immediately.
The revelation came from an email obtained by The New York Times from Bethany’s president Chris Palusky. “We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today,” Mr. Palusky wrote. “We’re taking an ‘all hands-on deck’ approach where all are welcome.”
There are 100,000 children waiting for adoption in the United States, and there are 400,000 kids in foster care. Bethany served 8,417 children and families through foster care in 2019.
Prior to the change in policy, which according to The Times was “approved by its 14-member national board on Jan. 21,” Bethany had maintained a 2007 position statement endorsing traditional marriage. The updated policy now states that “Christians of mutual good faith can reasonably disagree on various doctrinal issues, about which Bethany does not maintain an organizational position.”
Focus President Jim Daly issued the following statement to The New York Times:
“Bethany Christian Services should not have to choose between holding to their deeply held religious convictions and serving children and families. No government should tell any ministry how to run their ministry, let alone violate deeply held biblical principles.”
In an interview with The Daily Citizen, Dr. Sharen Ford, Director for Foster Care and Adoption at Focus on the Family, said that Bethany’s decision was “heartbreaking.” Dr. Ford noted that she has personally worked with Bethany for over 30 years and has always respected the caliber and quality of their work in serving adoptive and foster care families.
“They’ve done stellar work,” Dr. Ford said. “They have been consistently under attack the last four to five years, by state governments, to lower their standards, to having to use donor dollars to fight a fight that should have never been a fight to begin with, all because they want to serve children and serve families the way the Gospel says to.”
Dr. Ford alluded to the battle Bethany Christian Services had been waging against the state of Michigan over its ability to place children with only couples of the opposite sex.
A same-sex couple had sued Bethany Christian Services in 2017 in the state of Michigan over its policy. Bethany then agreed to a settlement reversing its policy, but it only applied to operations in Michigan.
Dr. Ford noted that Focus on the Family’s position continues to be that “children should be placed in families where there is a man and a woman, a husband and a wife couple… that’s the best for children.”
At issue here is the pressure that many Christians feel from our culture to give in to norms and morals at odds with biblical values. Many LGBT activists and leftists will not be content until every Christian organization and business run by Christians conforms to their demands.
It’s not enough for secular adoption agencies, of which there are many, to serve same-sex couples. Faith-based adoption agencies must also be forced to do so, even when alternatives are available.
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Focus on the Family: Adoption and Foster Care Resources
You can click here to learn about an ongoing case at the U.S. Supreme Court over the city of Philadelphia’s refusal to work with Catholic Social Services (CSS) on adoption cases over CSS’ policy of only placing children with a mom and a dad.
Photo from Bethany.org