Vermont Revokes Christian Families’ Foster-Care Licenses Over Religious Beliefs

Vermont’s Department for Children and Families has revoked the foster-care licenses of two Christian families due to their religious beliefs.

This decision comes despite the state’s pressing need for more foster families and the commendable track record of these families.

The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of these families, arguing that their exclusion is based solely on their religiously inspired views on human sexuality.

Pastor Brian Wuoti and his wife, Katy, have been foster parents since 2014 and have successfully adopted two brothers from the foster care system.

Pastor Bryan Gantt and his wife, Rebecca, began fostering in 2016, focusing on children born with drug dependencies or fetal alcohol syndrome, and have since adopted three children.

Social workers praised both families for their dedication and care. However, their foster-care licenses were revoked after they expressed their belief that girls cannot become boys and vice versa.

ADF attorneys argue that Vermont prefers leaving children without homes rather than placing them with families holding these religious beliefs.

The lawsuit contends that the state’s policy categorically prohibits families with these views from fostering any child, regardless of the circumstances.

ADF Legal Counsel Johannes Widmalm-Delphonse criticizes Vermont’s stance, emphasizing the crisis in the foster care system and the state’s disregard for the needs of vulnerable children and the constitutional rights of its citizens.

Despite high praise from social workers, the Wuotis lost their license in 2022 after stating they could not support a child’s gender transition.

Similarly, the Gantts, described as the “perfect home” for a baby in need, were denied the opportunity to adopt after expressing concerns about department policies on pronouns and Pride parades.

This lawsuit highlights the ongoing tension between religious beliefs and state policies in the realm of foster care, raising significant questions about the balance between ideological conformity and the welfare of children in need.

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