Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2017 (S. 811)
This law was last updated on Nov 5, 2018
S. 811 would prohibit the federal government, and any state or local government that receives federal funding for any program that provides child welfare services under part B (Child and Family Services) or part E (Foster Care and Adoption Assistance) of title IV of the Social Security Act (SSAct), from discriminating or taking an adverse action against a child welfare service provider that declines to provide, facilitate, or refer for a child welfare service that conflicts with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions.
The bill bars such prohibition from applying to SSAct requirements that forbid state entities from denying or delaying adoption or foster care placements on the basis of an adoptive parent’s or a child’s race, color, or national origin. The bill provides no exception for sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bill would require the Department of Health and Human Services to withhold 15% of the federal funds that a state or local government receives for such programs if the state or local government violates this bill.
An aggrieved child welfare service provider may assert such an adverse action violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and to obtain all appropriate relief.
If passed, the bill would allow child welfare providers the right to discriminate in, or refuse, the services they offer (such as child placement, counseling, and abuse assistance) to LGBTQ families and children.
Companion bill to H.R. 1881.