Catholic Adoption Agencies in Joliet, Peoria Say Litigation Risk Too Great, Reluctantly Opt Out


In the Chicago Tribune:

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.

... There are 760 foster homes licensed by Catholic Charities in the Peoria Diocese and 203 foster homes licensed by Catholic Charities in the Joliet Diocese.

... Several attempts have been made in Springfield to pass an amendment that would exempt religious child welfare agencies, but none has made it to the floor for a vote.

In addition to Catholic Charities in five regions, Lutheran Child and Family Services and the Evangelical Child and Family Agency have policies that exclude prospective parents who are not married.