While conservative American Christianists continue not flocking to adopt children in foster care, their mania for preventing others willing to step to the front of the line is unabating.
The State of Nebraska adopted a policy banning foster placement with gay couples just because.
Several couples sued. The state argued the case should be dismissed because they hadn’t applied and been automatically turned down under the policy. No harm, no foul.
Memo 1-95 was a published statement on DHHS’ official website that “heterosexuals only” need apply to be foster parents. It is legally indistinguishable from a sign reading “Whites Only” on the hiring-office door. Memo 1-95 clearly excluded same-sex couples and individuals who identified as homosexuals either from being licensed or from having state wards placed in their homes. There is no dispute that all the plaintiffs were ready and able to be foster parents, were aware of and deterred by Memo 1-95, and would have taken further steps to become foster parents but for the barrier expressed in Memo 1-95. The plaintiffs considered any further action to be futile and did not wish to subject themselves to the humiliation of rejection and the stigmatic harm of unequal treatment.
[L]ocal foster care and adoption is in a state of crisis as the number of children in foster care has increased significantly, but the number of adoptions have not.
“About five years ago, we had just over 8,000 children in foster care in our state,” Brian Maness, president of the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, said in a statement. “Today, there are about 10,500 children in foster care, an increase of more than 25% in the last five years. That is a trend we would very much like to reverse.”
He said that the number of children in foster care increased every month in 2016 as compared to the year prior—an arrangement that is especially hard on youth who do not know what their life will be from one day to the next.
“For a child in foster care, it’s a state of limbo, where they don’t know what their future holds. They don’t know whether they’re going to remain with that foster family, move to another foster home, return to their biological family or whatever situation they came from, or whether they are going to find an adoptive family,” Maness explained.
“Last year, we were able to place only 12 percent of the children referred to us,” he said.