A faith-based adoption agency can operate according to its religious beliefs at least while its case is pending before a federal appeals court.
New Hope Family Services became an enemy of New York state officials over the agency’s stated mission of placing vulnerable children in homes with a married mother and father.
New Hope was specifically targeted by the Office of Children and Family Services, which demanded that New Hope change its adoption policy or shut down the adoption program. A federal district court ruled in favor the state agency after New Hope sued to protect its faith-based practices.
Alliance Defending Freedom filed an appeal on behalf of New Hope with the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued an emergency order on Nov. 11 that New Hope can continue with its adoption program while the court considers the appeal.
Oral arguments from ADF were heard by the 2nd Circuit on Nov. 13.
ADF attorney Roger Brooks, who is representing New Hope in court, tells OneNewsNow that helping orphans has been a foundational ministry of the Church dating back 2,000 years.
"If the state has the power to shut [New Hope] down because it won't bend the knee to the latest political views of the state of New York,” Brooks warns, “then the state has power over a wide variety of Christian ministries -- historic ministries.”
New York has a number of other adoption agencies that will place children in a same-sex environment, and New Hope claims it has sent potential clients to those sources and has never heard a complaint.
The state agency learned of New Hope’s policy during a standard site visit and called the biblical practice “discriminatory and impermissible” in a letter to the organization, ADF says.