More Catholic Adoptions Agencies in Illinois Are Shutting Down June 4, 2011

More Catholic Adoptions Agencies in Illinois Are Shutting Down

Remember how the Catholic Charities of Rockford (Illinois) were so freaked out by the possibility that children might have to be placed in the homes of gay couples because of the new civil unions law that they shut down their state-funded adoption services altogether?

Well, the Catholic Charities of Peoria and the Catholic Charities of Joliet are now doing the same thing.

Catholic Charities of Peoria and Joliet have informed the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services that they will no longer license families who applied to become foster care or adoptive parents because the state’s civil unions law went into effect Tuesday.

“It is the religious practice of Catholic Charities not to place children with unmarried cohabiting couples, whether same sex or opposite sex,” wrote Glenn Van Cura, executive director of Catholic Charities of Joliet, in a letter to DCFS sent this week.

Once again, the Catholic Church is telling the world that they would rather see kids without any adoptive parents at all than put them in the home of a loving gay couple.

Remember: The taxpayers of Illinois are giving these Catholic organizations money to carry out these services. They have absolutely no right to discriminate against the GLBT community.

As Benjamin Wolf and John Knight of the ACLU of Illinois wrote in an excellent editorial this week:

These agencies elected to accept state money to carry out a government function — the licensing of foster and adoptive parents. Having chosen to voluntarily act in the state’s capacity, these agencies are expected to perform using the same standards as any other agency. Illinois law already required placements of children in state custody to be based on child welfare considerations, as opposed to the views of the agencies. Thus, denying foster or adoptive parents licenses based on their sexual orientation (or race and religion), already is prohibited by law.

Catholic Charities is free to practice in accordance with its religious teachings. But if it chooses to accept tax dollars to perform the state’s job of finding families for children in state custody, it may not use religious criteria — as opposed to child welfare criteria — in choosing families for them.

Like every child, these 15,000 children deserve a safe, loving home where they are nurtured. That hope is undercut when qualified available families are needlessly excluded from consideration. Imagine a child who has been the victim of abuse or neglect being denied the opportunity to live with a loving aunt or uncle simply because the relative is lesbian or gay. That is not in the best interests of the child.

We’ll just add all this to the list of ways the Catholic Church has screwed children.

(via Chicagoist)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • unbeliever

    As has been posted on this topic before, I hope non-religious organisations step in to fill the gap. Presumably there will be more funding available? I’m just wondering if the tax payer funding is issued per child placed, or on a yearly basis or via some other process.

  • Deiloh

    Social Services does step in whenever adoption agencies cannot be found or the biological family prefer not to go through an agency. Healthy babies and young children are easy to find homes for so they don’t get bounced around like other foster cases. My reaction to the Catholic “charities” is: whatever, ga-bye, good riddance!

  • EdmondWA

    To: Atheists.

    From: Gay people.

    Re: Fewer religiously indoctrinated children.

    You’re welcome.

  • Moose

    I DO hope a full and revealing, fully transparent audit of any and all monies paid to these people is in the works.

    If they have decided to place Ideology over public trust-They no longer deserve a dime.

    I just feel sorry for the children in their care, and hope the state has adiquate resources to accept the load of charges they just abandoned.

  • Fett101

    Funny how they specify that they don’t adopt to “unmarried couples” when he religious right is the reason they aren’t able to marry.

  • Traziness

    It would be especially great if a secular group took up the task of running the adoption licensing agency. Or rather, any number of people who disagree with catholic discrimination tactics like this just got together to run it. I have no idea what the requiements are to run such an agency as I write this, but that would be a good message to the catholics who thought this was a good idea, as well as a huge relief to all the children awaiting adoption and families who want to share their love with a little one.
    Do more children really need to be hurt by the catholic superiority complex before someone steps in to say “that’s enough ya jerks”?

  • honestly, this is all I hear from the catholics “wahhhh…we’re sooooo persecuted and can’t get our way…lets throw a tantrum about it!!!”

    -_- Its annoying at best and moves past the disgusting line

  • Baconsbud

    I sure am glad that helping those in need are at the top of the list for the Catholic church. I guess if you have to allow gay couples to adopt, then the children must not be so bad off and the services they were providing are no longer needed.

  • dauntless

    We’ll just add all this to the list of ways the Catholic Church has screwed children.


  • Noel

    Instead of condemning these mystics for having the (mis)integrity to stand by their beliefs, we should be applauding them for expressing, for all to see, how a morality based on the alleged edicts of a totalitarian deity is fundamentally anti-life.

    They should all be this simple and easy. Better the fundamentalists than the mongrel legions that have diluted their convictions in a daze of multiculturalism and egalitarianism.

  • PJB863

    Yeah, but the REAL joke here is the biggest Catholic Charities group in IL, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, got out of the adoption and foster care business four years ago, citing high insurance costs and liabilities. Apparently there was a $12 million lawsuit involved in that decision. Oddly enough it was at about the same time that the Cook County Domestic Partnership Registry came to be.

    From my understanding, foster parents are paid a stipend by the state per child. I’m sure the licensing agency gets a cut somehow too. With the Chicago Catholic Charities, the caseworkers and their cases were transferred to other agencies. It was pretty transparent to the clients – only different stationery on any communications from the caseworker. The policies and standards are developed and mandated by the state.

  • Lisa

    To: Atheists.

    From: Gay people.

    Re: Fewer religiously indoctrinated children.

    You’re welcome.

    I love this.

  • Richard Wade

    A delightful example of natural selection at work. The new civil unions law is analogous to an important change in the natural environment. Organizations, just like organisms that cannot adapt to the change in the environment go extinct. Other organizations or organisms that can adapt will take the opportunity to fill in the niche.

    Let’s see… That eliminates Triceratops, Parasaurolophus, and Velociraptor. Next to go, Tyrannosaurus Rex?

  • David

    I find it interesting that liberals and gays “DEMAND” tolerance but don’t exhibit any desire to reciprocate equally. It may have been less impactive to children without families to allow an exemption from the law for religious purposes. Likewise, organizations willing to place children in non-traditional family environments certainly should not be prevented from doing so because the law now allows them to do so. That would have been the “tolerant” thing to do. It seems to me that, in the view of liberals and gays, tolerance is clearly a one sided expectation.

  • Holly

    Is there any way to find out about agencies in the area that are stepping up to take on the children left behind by this? I’d love to show my support to people that are willing to do the right thing and place children with loving families (of any orientation).

  • Steve

    Religious tolerance doesn’t free you from following the law. They can discriminate all they want. Just not while taking in 30 million dollars of tax money per year. Never mind the sheer absurdity of demanding special religious privileges while performing an entirely secular function.

    The impact on the children will be exactly zero. Their foster parents will merely deal with a different agency. Don’t suggest that they’ll be removed or anything of the sort.

  • boshhead


    Why should we “tolerate” adoption agencies not making their first concern the welfare of the child?

    This has nothing to do with “tolerance.” There is a non-consenting 3rd party involved here — the child — and the state has an obligation to take care of them.

    If you want to abuse a consenting adult in the name of your false religious doctrines, go ahead, but stop screwing children.

  • Michael

    This is great. It will hurt the adoption process for a little while. Now that they’re out of the way, better agencies will have the opportunity to fill in this niche.

  • Marcela E. Brusa

    This is why civil unions do not work. Equal rights means marriage for all, not marriage for some and civil unions for others.
    This is why the Church can now say that people in civil unions are not married. Well, I support a marriage law for everyone.
    Argentina had the guts to do it, I do not see why it cannot be done in the US. (aside from the opposition of the church, who should not really have any involvement in matters of State).

  • Marcela E. Brusa

    And by the way, this is the same catholic church that says that adoption should be imposed on any woman not wanting to continue an unplanned pregnancy? Does anyone else see the incongruency here?

  • Steve

    Religious organizations demand extensive exceptions and “conscience” clauses for same-sex marriages too. They aren’t willing to follow the law no matter what it is.

  • Marcela E. Brusa

    I know, Steve, but that does not mean that marriage should not be marriage for everyone. (After all, it is the State who issues the licenses, not the churches) This is why I object to the civil union ‘solution’, which still discriminates on the bases of sexual orientation. If our goal is equal rights then, let’s have equal rights, not straight fountains and homo fountains (This is a perfect analogy, in my opinion)
    As far as concience objectors, as long as they do not work for the State, they can do privately whatever they want, but to draw a salary from the state and not follow the law is incompatible.
    In Argentina, marriages are civil in nature (the religious thing is an option)and the judges that objected to perform the marriage ceremonies were told to uphold the law or look for alternate employment.
    As it should be.
    Nobody forces the church to perform those marriages, but that is as far as their objection should go.

  • Steve

    Hey, you don’t need to convince me 🙂

    I don’t think CUs are a good solution either. Both in theory and in practice. I just meant that arguing that that is the case because of the opinion of religious organizations gets you nowhere.

  • Marcela E. Brusa

    During last year’s battle for marriage equality in Argentina (in which I participated actively and proudly), the ones who opposed it also were willing to “compromise” with a civil union. I told my husband that if that was the outcome, we should divorce and get married through the civil union “thingy”, because I did not want to belong to a club that left people out on a prejudice. Lucky for us, it did not happen that way, my marriage is today as valid as anyone’s marriage, and that is so much better for everyone involved.
    By the way, the catholic population of Argentina is calculated at 90%, if it was possible to do it there, it should be possible to do in the States. The only difference, people took to the streets and demanded the law to be changed. The marches were populated by people (not just LGBT but there were lots of Straight people too, in the marches and the streets collecting signatures and on TV speaking for the change) The law is about to be one year old on July 15th, and nothing has happened yet to justify the screams that the opposition gave, talking about the end of the world as we knew it. Life is normal and people get married or not, no families have dissappeared and no one has asked to marry their dogs. (That was one of the arguments against the equal marriage law, can you believe it?)

  • Marcela E. Brusa

    My point was, actually that the CU gave the church the possibility to reject these couples (being that it is not actual marriage in their view) Not that their objections should be taken into account for anything. Sorry if I did not explain myself better. 😀

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