In the United States, gays and lesbians can now officially go to one of the country‘s largest Christian adoption organisations. At Bethany Christian Services, LHBTI’ers are immediately welcome as foster or adoptive parents. In a number of states this has been happening for some time under pressure from governments, but now national policies have officially changed.
Bethany Christian Services is the largest Protestant agency for adoption and foster children in the United States. In 2019, the organization provided more than 1100 adoptions and 3406 children were placed in foster care.
Previously, the agency openly referred homosexual foster parents and adoptive parents to other institutions in most states.
One man and one woman
Bethany Christian Services‘s new policy was silently approved by the Board in January and announced at the beginning of this week. “We will now, with the love and compassion of Jesus, offer our services to the different types of families that are in the world today,” says in an email to employees.
Since 2007, the national organization has formally taken the view that God has conceived the marriage for “one man and one woman”, something that many Christians endorse.
“ We realize that not everyone is happy about this and we may lose revenue,” says board member Susanne Jordan to The New York Times newspaper. “But helping children should not be controversial.”
In the US, states and local authorities are increasingly demanding such organizations to allow LGBTI-sets. Local departments of Bethany were therefore granted permission from the national government a few years ago to meet contract requirements imposed by local authorities. This meant that cooperation with gay couples was already on a small scale, although this was not explicitly publicised.
Bethany’s new approach has something of a chord dance, writes The New York Times. “It is an attempt to implement an unambiguous inclusivity policy that does not violate most of the constituents, such as the churches, where the majority of parents are recruited.” At the same time, writes the newspaper, in the adapted policy, relations between people of the same sex are not approved.