In LGBT War Against Catholic Adoption, Kids Come Last


Catholic adoption and foster care services are shutting down around the country in the name of LGBT rights. But governments, courts and Catholic organizations aren’t the only ones involved. There’s another group caught in the middle: children.

On Easter Monday, a federal appeals court sided with Philadelphia after the city cut ties with contractors working in foster care who refused to place children with gay couples – on the grounds of discrimination.

The decision directly affects Catholic Social Services (CSS), part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which stands by the Church’s teaching on traditional marriage.

In other words, it’s a Catholic organization that is Catholic.

According to many of the media headlines, the case centered solely on anti-LGBT discrimination, rather than on anti- religious liberty discrimination.

NPR’s headline declared “Catholic Foster Care Agency Cannot Discriminate Against LGBTQ Couples, Court Says” on April 22.

That same day, a headline from NBC News read, “Philadelphia can exclude foster agency that won’t work with gays, court rules.”

A day later, on April 23, Newsweek published a story with the headline: “Catholic Foster Agency Decries Court Ruling That They Cannot Discriminate Against LGBTQ Couples.”

But, as Catholic News Agency reported, CSS “has never been the subject of discrimination complaints by same-sex couples.” The agency argues that it aids every child, no matter his or her race, color, sex, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity.

And, as a judge deciding the case noted, CSS also refuses to place children with cohabitating, unmarried couples–clearly applying its adherence to Catholic teaching on sexual morality with consistency.

For more than 50 years CSS has partnered with the city, says Becket Law, which is involved in the case. And children need those homes.

“There are 6,000 foster children in the City of Philadelphia,” a press release from Becket Law read on April 22:

The need to find those children homes is so dire that earlier this year the city put out an urgent call for 300 new families to become foster parents. But shortly after this call for help, the city inexplicably prohibited Catholic Social Services from placing any more children with the families it has certified—solely because of the agency’s religious beliefs.

Philadelphia isn’t alone. On April 22, the Becket Fund filed a lawsuit in Michigan on behalf of St. Vincent Catholic Charities, a contractor that runs foster care and adoption programs. The Catholic organization is challenging a settlement by Michigan that demands agencies place children with gay couples.

Both Philadelphia and Michigan aren’t isolated incidents – they’re part of a larger trend that punishes Catholic organizations’ stance on marriage.

In New York, Catholic Charities of Buffalo ended its foster and adoption services in 2018 because of its stance on marriage.

Catholic Charities affiliates in Illinois closed its programs 2011 because of a new requirement to place children with gay couples in order to receive state money.

The year before, in Washington, D.C., Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington was forced to shutter its adoption and foster care programs because of a new marriage law.

Both Catholic Charities in Boston and in San Francisco ended their adoption services because they refused to place children with gay couples in 2006.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has recognized this as a growing threat to Catholic organizations.

“Among many current challenges, several state governments have sought to trample on the conscience rights of Catholic charitable service providers,” the USCCB’s website states:

Without religious liberty properly understood, all Americans suffer, including the neediest children seeking adoptive and foster families, as well as birth parents who wish to turn to faith-based providers in order to place their children with adoptive parents.

In other words, this isn’t just affecting Catholics. Countless American families, parents, and children are impacted too.

The views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views of


About Author


Katie Yoder serves as the associate culture editor at NewsBusters and is a columnist for She is also the Joe and Betty Anderlik Fellow for the Media Research Center’s culture division. Follow her on Twitter @k_yoder.


  1. I pray that these Catholic agencies continue to value what our God wants; not what these evil-believing people want to do. A child needs a FATHER and a MOTHER to train them and raise them. Homosexuals are just selfish people who want what they want and have no thought of what they are doing to the poor child. Selfish, self-consumed, sick people. Please don’t drop our values and beliefs for the love of money. God will reward you for doing the right thing; even if it’s a tough road.

    • I agree with you, Jane. LBGT persons are the most corrupt because of their efforts to force agreement rather than tolerance. They are the voice of religious persecution and have no respect for the first amendment. Freedom of religion, and the free exercise thereof, is the very first guarantee in the first amendment. It was considered essential by the founding fathers. LBGT individuals would like to do away with that aspect of the first amendment and, unfortunately, local and state governments and private companies have no courage in rejecting this attitude. They are cowards in search of both the political power and the dollar. They worship mammon rather than God.

  2. The widely accepted standard and best practices in adoption and foster care placement is “the best interests of the child.” It’s clear that the Catholic Church’s family model, which is in harmony with natural law, offers the best course for raising children.

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