Statement from state Representative Kristy Pagan (D-Canton) on legislation allowing state-funded adoption agencies to refuse service on religious grounds:

Thursday, March 19, 2015

“I oppose House Bills 4188, 4189 and 4190 because they make it harder for the over 3,000 children waiting to be adopted to find loving homes. Currently, the Department of Human Services, which oversees adoption and foster care providers, has a policy in place that allows child placing agencies to object to an adoption based on religious or moral grounds without penalty.

“As we know, LGBT families are four times more likely to raise adopted children and six times more likely to foster children. This is especially the case for children with disabilities in the foster care system. We know that older children in the foster care or adoption system are at higher risk of poverty, homelessness, substance abuse and incarceration if they do not find a loving family before they “age out” of the system at age 18.

“As legislators, I truly believe that we are all here with the intent to set our children up for success. Early intervention when it comes to children in adoption or foster care is key to living a healthy, fulfilling life. When we talk about quality of life for all of our children, we must also mean those who are being adopted or placed in foster care. And when we talk about the need to make sure children find loving, supportive homes, we need to look at ways to expand — not limit — who can adopt. These bills actually hurt our children, and that’s why I voted no.”