Judge recognizes 'good work' of adoption agency threatened by NY

Friday, May 17, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with Bible 2A faith-based adoption provider will likely appeal a federal court's decision to dismiss its lawsuit that was filed in hopes of stopping the state's attempts to shut it down.

New Hope Family Services has been operating since 1965 and has placed over 1,000 children in homes in the state of New York. "Unfortunately," says attorney Jeana Hallock of Alliance Defending Freedom, "the state of New York has decided to come after New Hope simply because it operates consistent with its religious beliefs regarding marriage and the family." ADF is representing the New York-based agency.

According to the legal group, New Hope was told by New York State Office of Children and Family Services to change its beliefs or stop serving children – despite the fact it has never accepted state funding and has no government contracts.

New Hope asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York in December to stop the state from targeting it for its religious beliefs and to preserve its ability to continue placing children in adoptive homes while the lawsuit moves forward. On Thursday, a judge dismissed that lawsuit, which means the state agency could tell New Hope to shut down.

Hallock

"There are some procedural options that we would have in the event that the state indicates that they're going to shut New Hope down immediately," Hallock explains. "We're hopeful that's not going to be the case, but we're assessing our options moving forward, and we'll do the best that we can to protect New Hope's right to continue operating."

Hallock adds the judge was definitely mindful of "the good work" that New Hope has done.

"She mentioned that perhaps there would be some alternative agreement the parties could come to, so I definitely think that she sees that New Hope has done great work throughout the state of New York," the attorney tells OneNewsNow.

"The important thing to remember here is that the Constitution protects the right of every American to live consistent with their religious beliefs – and adoption providers, including faith-based adoption providers, are no different," Hallock concludes.

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