The Georgia Senate has approved SB 375, the Keep Faith in Adoption and Foster Care Act, designed to encourage more religious adoption agencies to open in Georgia. The Senate approved the measure by a vote of 35-19. Senator William Ligon of Brunswick sponsored the bill, saying, “The goal is to open as many doors as possible for those children that are in need of homes, and this bill will do that.”
Click below to watch the following video where Senator William Ligon spoke about the bill to a group of Georgia Baptist pastors at the Georgia Capitol this month:
SB 375 would encourage other faith-based adoption agencies to locate in Georgia. There are now three or four adoption agencies in Georgia that cannot do business with the state because of the way their contract is written.
Opponents of the bill claim that the legislation would discriminate against same-sex couples qualifying as adoptive parents, and that it could hamper Georgia’s chances of landing Amazon’s second headquarters. However, if there is any issue of discrimination, it is about faith-based agencies not being discriminated against in the future.
Georgia has always recognized the importance of faith-based agencies and their mission statements. The State has a constitutional duty to be proactive in protecting First Amendment freedoms for religious persons and their institutions.
We know already of at least three States (Illinois, Massachusetts, and California) and Washington, D.C., where faith-based child-placing agencies have shut down because of State policies that required them to compromise their sincerely held religious beliefs regarding the biblical view of the family.
A vote will now have to take place in the House for this legislation to make it to the Governor’s desk. The bill is presently in the House Judiciary Committee awaiting a hearing and a vote, in order for it to make it to the floor of the House before the 40th day, which is March the 29th.
Please contact your House representative and ask for their support of this important legislation. Visit www.openstates.org to find your House member and contact information. Also, pray for its passage.