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HHS ensures faith-based adoption, foster care providers are free to serve kids in need

Thursday, Jan 7, 2021
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Zack Pruitt regarding a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ final rule issued Thursday that eliminates a federal regulation from the previous administration that forced child welfare providers to abandon their deeply held religious beliefs to continue receiving federal funding to serve children in need:

“Every child deserves a chance to be raised in a loving home. There are hundreds of thousands of children in the foster care system, many of whom are eligible for adoption. Faith-based adoption and foster care providers play an integral role in serving these vulnerable kids. Sadly, the prior administration’s regulation failed to protect all providers and discriminated against faith-based providers simply because of their beliefs about marriage. That is not keeping kids first. HHS’s final rule to end this discrimination offers hope for children, more options for birth mothers, support for families, and increased flexibility for states seeking to alleviate real human need. We commend the Trump administration for protecting a diversity of providers to ensure the greatest number of children find a permanent, loving family.”

ADF attorneys represent Catholic Charities West Michigan and New Hope Family Services in New York, both adoption and foster care providers, in federal lawsuits against state officials. The lawsuits seek to protect the faith-based providers from being singled out, punished, or disfavored because of their religious beliefs—beliefs that motivate their care for children, birth parents, and other vulnerable members of the community.

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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ABOUT Zack Pruitt

Zack Pruitt serves as senior counsel with the Alliance Defending Freedom Center for Legislative Advocacy. Since joining ADF in 2017, he has focused his efforts on issues involving religious liberty and freedom of speech. Formerly, Pruitt served as director of public policy for the Family Action Council of Tennessee, where he was responsible for the formulation of legislation and policy initiatives related to religious freedom and constitutional liberties. Prior to joining the council, he was a Charles Koch Institute Research Fellow at the Acton Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and managed a state Senate campaign in Missouri. Pruitt earned his Juris Doctor with a certificate in International and Comparative Law from St. Louis University School of Law. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He is admitted to the District of Columbia Bar.