New Hope Family Services v. Poole
Description: The New York State Office of Children and Family Services has threatened to force faith-based adoption provider New Hope Family Services to immediately phase out its adoption program for the nonprofit’s policy prioritizing the placement of children it serves in homes with a married mother and father.
NY federal court: State can’t shut down adoption provider because of religious beliefs
“Today’s decision is great news for children waiting to be adopted and for the parents partnering with our client, New Hope Family Services, to provide loving, stable homes. Government officials have no business forcing faith-based providers to choose between speaking messages about marriage that contradict their religious convictions and closing their doors. The need for adoption services in New York, whether public or private, is huge, and New Hope’s faith-guided services do not coerce anyone and do nothing to interfere with other adoption providers who have different beliefs about family and the best interests of children. Today’s ruling signals that the state’s attempt to shutter New Hope violated core rights protected by the First Amendment—the freedom to speak what you believe and the freedom to practice the teachings of your faith. Thankfully, this ruling means that New Hope can continue offering the exceptional support it has provided for decades while its lawsuit challenging the state’s unconstitutional policy continues.”
The following quote may be attributed to New Hope Family Services Executive Director Kathy Jerman:
“Every child deserves a home with a loving mother and father who are committed to each other. Here at New Hope Family Services, we are an ‘arm-around-the-shoulder’ ministry that walks with adoptive families and birth parents alike to place children with adoptive families. New York is threatening to shut down New Hope’s adoption services, which has placed over 1,000 children with adoptive families since we began as an adoption agency in 1965. We live in a diverse state, and we need more adoption providers, not fewer. We’re grateful that today’s decision allows us to keep serving children and families, even though our legal fight continues to end the state’s harassment once and for all.”
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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Roger G. Brooks serves as senior counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is a key member of the Center for Conscience Initiatives. Brooks focuses his efforts on protecting freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, student privacy, and parental rights. Prior to joining ADF in 2018, Brooks worked with the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore for 25 years, 19 of those as a partner in the litigation department. Brooks received an A.B. from Princeton University, followed by a master’s degree in history and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. After law school, Brooks clerked with the Hon. John D. Butzner, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. He received his Master of Divinity from Regent College Seminary in Vancouver, British Columbia. Brooks served on the board of ADF (2012-2014) and on the board of the Christian Legal Society (2002-2011). He is a member of the state bars of New York and North Carolina.