Valley Center – Governor Jeff Colyer today signed SB 284, the Adoption Protection Act into law at a ceremony held at Youth Horizons Kinloch Price Boys Ranch in Valley Center, KS. The new law protects child placement agencies by stating that no child placement agency shall be required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, consent to, refer, or otherwise participate in any placement of a child for foster care or adoption when the proposed placement of such child violates such CPA’s sincerely held religious beliefs. As has been done in other states, this law allows faith-based adoption agencies to continue working in Kansas without threat of being shut down for adhering to their religious convictions.
“By keeping faith-based adoption agencies in our state, we give more children the opportunity to be adopted,” Colyer said. “We are grateful for the work done by these and other placement agencies who are working hard to bring families together.”
Representative Susan Humphries of the 99th District said, “Faith-filled Kansans have a long history of leadership and service in caring for the most vulnerable among us. This bill simply protects their place at the table while leaving many options open for the diverse population in Kansas. All Kansans will find a child placing agency suited to their needs.”
“The adoption option in a crisis pregnancy is a pro-Life, Kansas value,” said Representative Chuck Weber of the 85th District. “The Adoption Protection Act guarantees faith-based agencies the ability to serve their clients without the looming threat of litigation or closure. The most important beneficiaries of this new state law are pregnant mothers seeking help and the children they courageously bring into the world. My sincere thanks to all involved—including members of the Kansas Truth Caucus—who helped support this important legislation.”
Eric Teetsel, President of the Family Policy Alliance, expressed his appreciation for support of this bill becoming law, “The provisions of the Adoption Protection Act signed into law today provide critical protections for faith-based adoption and foster care service providers in Kansas. Thank you, Governor Colyer, for securing the ability of these agencies to partner with the state to help kids in need find their forever family.”
Michael Schuttloffel, Executive Director of the Kansas Catholic Conference, had this to say about the new law, “On behalf of the Kansas Catholic Conference I would like to thank the governor for signing this important legislation and for his administration’s great support throughout the process. The Adoption Protection Act ensures that faith-based adoption providers will be able to continue serving children, birthmothers, and adoptive parents as they have for so long.”
Additional changes were also made to the existing law to update the language regarding adoption so that it more closely mirrors current federal law.
The bill means that faith-based agencies can continue to hold their sincerely held religious belief and still help the state of Kansas find loving homes for children in need of adoption or foster care. It is seen as legal shield for faith-based agencies that receive state tax dollars but are now not forced to place children with same-sex couples or other families in conflict with a church’s doctrine. The bill affects only about a third of the adoption agencies operating in Kansas.
“For those who might not know, there are states that won’t let Faith-Based Adoption Agencies help their children, but not in Kansas,” said Donna Lippoldt of Culture Shield.
Kansas has over 7,200 children in its foster care system and about 2,400 in state custody available for adoption.