Catholic Charities of Buffalo will no longer provide foster care and adoption services to new clients because a New York state law would force it to violate Catholic teachings on homosexuality and marriage.
The organization, which serves people of need across Western New York, announced Thursday that it has become the latest Catholic Charities branch to halt adoption and foster services because of conflicts with state and local LGBT discrimination protections.
The entity will continue to serve its existing foster families but will not accept new applications until its contract with Erie County Department of Social Services expires in March 2019.
The move comes weeks after a same-sex couple submitted an application with Catholic Charities to become adoptive or foster parents, according to a news release. The charity doesn’t place children with same-sex couples because it follows Catholic teachings that dictate that marriage is between only one man and one woman.
However, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under the state’s Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act.
“It is with deep sadness we acknowledge that the legacy of the high quality, exceptional services which our staff provides to children and families through foster care and adoption will be lost,” Catholic Charities CEO Dennis C. Walczyk said in a statement.
Walczyk said that charity is working with the New York Office of Children and Family Services and the Erie County Department of Social Services to ensure a “smooth transition” for foster care children and parents affiliated with Catholic Charities as well as those who have applied to be foster or adoptive parents.
Currently affiliated with Catholic Charities of Buffalo are 34 children in care at 24 foster homes. There are a total of 55 certified foster homes affiliated with the charity. Additionally, the charity facilitates about five adoptions per year with most of those adoptions involving foster care children.
Although the New York Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act has been the law since 2003, Diocesan Director Sister Mary McCarrick was asked during a Thursday news conference why the organization is just now halting its foster and adoption services. She explained that the application by the same-sex couple put the charity in a “incontrovertible controversy.”
“We were in a incontrovertible controversy between what the state is expecting — that we would be without prejudice — foster and adopt with couples that are same sex, and the Catholic Church teaching this is not a marital couple, and that a child is better served to be with a man and a woman who are married,” McCarrick said, according to WGRZ.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith