Attorneys for the ACLU and ACLU of Michigan filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court to challenge the state’s practice of permitting state-funded child placement agencies to use religious criteria to turn away lesbian and gay prospective foster and adoptive parents. The legislature passed a law in 2015 with the purpose of codifying that practice.
There are currently 13,000 children in the state welfare system. Our lawsuit states that the State of Michigan is hurting its most vulnerable children and violating the Constitution by allowing taxpayer-funded child placement agencies to deny these children qualified foster and adoptive families based on religious eligibility criteria that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child.
Child placing agencies should be focused on the needs of the children in their care. Decisions about adoption and foster family placements should be made based on the best interest of the child, not the religious beliefs of the agency. In addition, taxpayer money should not be used to fund agencies that discriminate based on religion or sexual orientation.
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District Court (E.D. Mich.)