Texas Gov. Signs Bill Protecting Religious Freedom of Faith-Based Adoption Groups

MICHAEL GRYBOSKI , CHRISTIAN POST

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has signed a bill into law that prevents the government from punishing faith-based adoption agencies that operate their organizations in accordance with their religious beliefs.

Abbott signed House Bill 3859 into law on Thursday that seeks to protect religious child welfare agencies from being forced to provide services that go against their convictions.

“A child welfare services provider may not be required to provide any service that conflicts with the provider’s sincerely held religious beliefs,” read HB 3859 in part.

“A governmental entity or any person that contracts with this state or operates under governmental authority to refer or place children for child welfare services may not discriminate or take any adverse action against a child welfare services provider on the basis, wholly or partly, that the provider … refuses to enter into a contract that is inconsistent with or would in any way interfere with or force a provider to surrender the rights created by this chapter.”

HB 3859 goes on to note that should a faith-based child welfare agency refuse to provide a certain service, that the state must provide an alternative resource for the service.

“A governmental entity or any person that operates under governmental authority to refer or place children for child welfare services shall … ensure that a secondary child welfare services provider is available in that catchment area to provide a service described by Subsection (a) to a child,” continued HB 3859.