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The Deadly Consequences Of Texas’ Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill

By in Huffington Post on June 15, 2017

By Kristopher Sharp

For a state that prides itself on being “pro-life,” Texas lawmakers sure seem hell-bent on ensuring that children in the state’s foster care system experience the absolute worst possible outcomes.

Signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott on June 15, House Bill 3859 will soon allow child placement agencies that receive taxpayer money to claim religious objections to certain groups of people—effectively giving them a license to deny adoption and fostering opportunities to LGBTQ, single, or non-Christian parents. The bill further enshrines discrimination into Texas law by allowing these same publicly funded child placement agencies to send LGBTQ foster children to so-called “conversion therapy.”

For the almost 30,000 children in Texas foster care, the consequences of HB 3859 will be devastating—and yes—potentially deadly.

In 2015, a federal judge ruled that Texas violated the constitutional rights of foster children by exposing them to an unreasonable risk of harm in a system where children “often age out of care more damaged than when they entered.” In her scathing ruling, U.S. District Judge Janis Jack of Corpus Christi found that “years of abuse, neglect and shuttling between inappropriate placements across the state had created a population [of former foster youth] that cannot contribute to society, and proves a continued strain on the government through welfare, incarceration or otherwise.”

Yes, that is the actual language a federal judge used to describe Texas’ foster care system.

In an ideal world, child welfare agencies would be able to remove children from abusive family environments and either provide services to that child’s family of origin with the goal of eventually returning that child home, or find another family […]    

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