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Trump Administration Waives Nondiscrimination Requirement for South Carolina Adoption Agency

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Trump Administration Waives Nondiscrimination Requirement for South Carolina Adoption Agency

January 25, 2019, Washington, DC – The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) today expressed its strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s latest effort to appease the religious right by allowing an adoption agency in South Carolina to discriminate against prospective adoptive families on the basis of religion. NCJW CEO Nancy K. Kaufman released the following statement:

“The decision by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to allow a faith-based adoption agency receiving federal funds to require foster and adoptive families to meet a religious test is deeply disturbing. The policy, based on a contorted interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, will deprive children of desperately needed homes. It’s as simple as that.

“According to the Miracle Hill agency located in South Carolina, a foster parent must be a born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as expressed by a personal testimony and Christian conduct; be in agreement without reservation with the doctrinal statement of Miracle Hill Ministries; and be an active participant in, and in good standing with, a Protestant church. Even volunteers are rejected on the basis of religion.

“This policy conflicts with longstanding prohibitions against discrimination in federally funded programs. It undermines the purpose of the Families First Prevention Services Act just enacted in February 2018 that is designed to promote children’s’ welfare by getting them out of institutional settings and into loving homes. And it violates the First Amendment to the Constitution. The National Council of Jewish Women firmly rejects any use of public money to foster religious discrimination.

“The change in adoption policy is of a piece with the administration’s attempt to allow private employers to object to insurance coverage of contraception based on their personal religious or moral beliefs. It panders to a narrowly defined political base. The HHS policy must be reversed.”


The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.

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