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Family silhouette. Image: Jochen van Wylick/Unsplash.com

By Charles J. Russo, Catholic World Report, April 1, 2024  

Charles J. Russo, M.Div., J.D., Ed.D., Joseph Panzer Chair of Education in the School of Education and Health Sciences (SEHS), Director of SEHS’s Ph.D. Program in Educational Leadership, and Research Professor of Law in the School of Law at the University of Dayton, OH, specializes in issues involving education and the law with a special focus on religious freedom. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Notre Dame University of Australia School of Law, Sydney Campus. …

Despite an acute shortage of caregivers willing and able to be respite or placement resources for children and youth in need, officials forbade a Christian couple in Washington from serving as foster parents.

Discrimination against Christians continues unabated as for the third time in four years public officials have sought to not allow qualified Christians to serve as foster or adoptive parents because they reject the current orthodoxy on gender ideology.

In the dispute at the heart of this column, despite an acute shortage of caregivers willing and able to be respite or placement resources for children and youth experiencing increased mental, behavioral, and physical health needs, officials forbade a Christian couple in Washington from serving as foster parents. In fact, while 358 children spent 4,570 nights sleeping in hotels, offices, or other temporary accommodations in 2023, officials refused to permit Shane and Jennifer DeGross, parents of two children, to continue to foster youngsters. Yet, between 2013-22 the DeGrosses had fostered four girls: a newborn for three months, two toddlers for about two years each, and a third toddler for two weeks.  ….

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