New York Christian Adoption Agency Allowed To Only Place Children With Married Male And Female Couples

( A New York Christian adoption agency can continue placing children only with married couples that include a father and a mother, after winning a court case recently.

The New York District court was forced to re-hear the case, after the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of New Hope Family Services.

Back in 2018, the New York Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) told New Hope that they had to change their policies, as they operated against the adoption policies of the state. The OCFS said at the time that the group’s practices was “discriminatory and impermissible” against same-sex couples.

The agency said New Hope had to either change their rules or close down. It also required New Hope to say “that placement with unmarried or same sex couples is in the best interests of the child.”

As a Christian adoption agency, New Hope said its “policy is an exercise of its religious faith.” The agency filed a lawsuit seeking permanent injunctive relief. They also wanted to ensure that OCFS would be prevent from making New Hope “violate their religious convictions and say things that they believe to be false — or shut their doors.”

The initial appeal in 2019 was turned down, so the agency turned to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In July, that court reversed the original decision and sent the case back down to the New York District Court. The appeals court ruling stated there was “a plausible suspicion that OCFS acted with hostility towards New Hope because of the latter’s religious beliefs.”

Earlier this month, the district court then ruled in New Hope’s favor, saying “OCFS may not revoke New Hope’s perpetual authorization to place children for adoption during the pendency of this litigation.” It also said OCFS’ action “demonstrates some animosity towards particular religious beliefs.”

Roger Brooks, who is the senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented New Hope in court, released a statement saying government officials can’t prevent faith-based providers to choose between going against their beliefs or closing up shop. Following the recent ruling, Brooks said:

“The need for adoption services in New York, whether public or private, is huge, and New Hope’s faith-guided services do not coerce anyone and do nothing to interfere with other adoption providers who have different beliefs about family and the best interests of children.

“Today’s ruling signals that the state’s attempt to shutter New Hope violated core rights protected by the First Amendment … this ruling means that New Hope can continue offering the exceptional support it has provided for decades while its lawsuit challenging the state’s unconstitutional policy continues.”

The organization’s belief is that God created two sexes, females and males. God also stated that the best place for children to be raised is with a man and his wife who are married.

The agency describes its missions as “Christ’s hands extended to offer help and hope to those with pregnancy, parenting and post-abortion needs in the Syracuse area; and with adoption needs throughout New York State.”