Biden adoption agency rule faces pushback from Republican Rep. Jim Banks

 December 8, 2023

The Biden admnistration has promulgated a rule that would force foster or adoptive parents to facilitate gender “transitions” of children under their care and to affirm their chosen name and pronouns, but Republican Rep. Jim Banks (IN) is fighting back, as the Daily Caller reports.

Banks has introduced a bill titled the Sensible Adoption for Every Home Act (SAFE), and it is designed to combat the provisions announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which he and others believe constitute a threat to religious liberty and threatens to limit the number of loving families willing to help children in need.

According to the controversial rule at issue, child welfare agencies would be required to “ensure that each child in their care who identifies as LGBTQI+ receive a safe and appropriate placement and services that help them thrive,” as Fox News explains.

The HHS website further detailed that the proposed rule “would protect LGBTQI+ youth by placing them in environments free of hostility, mistreatment, or abuse based on the child's LGBTQI+ status.”

“And the proposed rule would require that caregivers for LGBTQI+ children are properly and fully trained to provide for the needs of the child related to the child's self-identified sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression,” the website went on.

States would, as the Washington Examiner noted, be prevented from working with adoption agencies, most of which are faith-based, that do not adhere to liberal doctrine regarding gender identity transitions and non-conforming identity expressions.

However, Banks' proposed legislation would stop child welfare agencies and similar groups receiving federal funding from receiving that financial assistance if they decline to work with prospective foster or adoptive families who do not comply with the LGBTQI+ provisions.

Banks' measure would protect prospective adoptive or foster families who declare their unwillingness to facilitate a child's wish for medical, surgical, drug, or psychological treatment that is inconsistent with the gender assigned at birth.

In promoting the bill, Banks said, “The Biden administration is cruelly preventing countless children in the foster care and adoption system from going to loving homes just because parents are opposed to irreversible sex change procedures on kids.”

“This isn't a liberal or conservative issue. This is just plain wrong, and every sane person knows it,” the congressman added.

The Examiner points out that most faith-based child welfare agencies reject gender reassignment and related concepts, and such entities represent roughly 40% of all government-contracted child placement agencies.

Given that, as the outlet notes, “observant Christians are three times more likely than the general population to consider fostering children,” excluding such families from consideration could lead to a severe shortage of homes for those who need them most.

As such, 18 state attorneys general have already put their names to a letter penned by Alabama AG Steve Marshall that was sent to HHS urging against implementation of the rule.

The attorneys general contend that the rule, if adopted, would cut faith-based agencies from the system, simply due to their constitutionally protected exercise of religious belief, but whether the administration will back down from the controversial plan that could have devastating ramifications for thousands of vulnerable kids, only time will tell.