When it comes to the right to adopt children, LGBTQ parents don’t have the same rights in all situations as heterosexual parents. A 9-0 ruling by the United States Supreme Court in June 2021 indicates that faith-based adoption agencies have the right to refuse to work with LGBTQ parents because of their religious beliefs. This ruling means that some adoption agencies in Illinois can refuse to serve you when you’re attempting to find a child to add to your family.
Religious freedom supersedes LGBTQ rights
Although the rights of LGBTQ individuals have come a long way in the 21rst century, this ruling came about when Catholic Social Services, or CSS, sued the City of Philadelphia for not sending referrals to the agency because the city opposed its stance against LGBTQ clients. The SCOTUS ruling stated that as long as the adoption agency didn’t try to impose its religious beliefs on clients, they were within their rights to refuse service. This ruling, along with the infamous Masterpiece Cake Shop decision in 2018, which involved the refusal of bakery owners to creating a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, indicates that you may encounter exceptions to certain LGBTQ rights.
Will LGBTQ rights to continue to erode?
Some advocates have worried that because SCOTUS currently has a conservative makeup,
LGBTQ rights will continue to erode. However, the justices chose a narrow approach to their ruling that focused on the other exemptions that the City of Philadelphia was willing to allow, which is not expected to further affect LGBTQ family law.
Because of this ruling, you may not be able to adopt from a faith-based organization like Catholic Charities in Chicago. At the same time, other adoption agencies shouldn’t stop you and your spouse from adopting and adding to your family.