Lawsuit for Denied Foster Care License in Washington as gender Ideology caused rejection

Lawsuit for Denied Foster Care License in Washington as gender Ideology caused rejection

Lawsuit for Denied Foster Care License in Washington as gender Ideology caused rejection

Parents in Washington state are taking legal action against the government after being denied a foster care license. They claim that the state’s policies on gender ideology played a role in their rejection.

Shane and Jennifer DeGross, who have been foster parents in Washington state for nine years, recently had their foster care license revoked due to their religious beliefs regarding gender identity policies.

A federal lawsuit has been filed by the couple in U.S. District Court against the Washington State Department of Children, Youth & Families.

According to Widmalm-Delphonse, foster parents in Washington are now required to embrace gender-affirming and sexual identity language and provide care for any child in their custody.

“Washington is forcing families like the DeGrosses into a difficult situation: either compromise their faith and be dishonest, or forfeit the chance to provide care for vulnerable children,” he stated.

DCYF stated that the acceptance or rejection of a child’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression (SOGIE) greatly affects their well-being. It is worth noting that LGBTQIA+ children and youth are disproportionately represented in the foster care population. In Washington, our top priority is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for these vulnerable children and youth when they are placed out-of-home into foster care.

DCYF has faced challenges in attracting and keeping foster parents, particularly those open to caring for older children and teenagers who may be more difficult to find homes for, as noted by Widmalm-Delphonse.

“The DeGrosses were open to accepting children of all ages, including older teenagers who faced behavioral difficulties,” he stated.

Continuously grappling with the issue, Widmalm agency faces an ongoing challenge.”Delphonse added,” he said.

“As a result of a shortage of foster families in the system, children have been placed in what they refer to as ‘placement exceptions,’ such as hotel rooms, over 4,500 times in 2023, as there are no alternative options available,” he explained. “The crux of the matter is the First Amendment and the question of whether individuals can be compelled by the state to express beliefs they do not hold, all in the name of benefiting children.”

According to Widmalm-Delphonse, the state has faced previous lawsuits regarding religious discrimination in the foster system.

According to Widmalm-Delphonse, the state attempted to deny the great-grandparents access to the baby, despite the fact that the child had recently been separated from her parents. That couple successfully resolved their legal case, with the state being ordered to permanently cease discriminatory practices.

According to DCYF, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington has issued a permanent injunction in the case of Blais v. Hunter. The court has granted the authority to require foster parents to adhere to a child’s case plan, which is determined by the dependency court, DCYF, and the child’s legal parents or guardians. We do not disqualify individuals from becoming foster parents based on their sincerely held religious beliefs. Nevertheless, the permanent injunction allows DCYF to consider an applicant’s stance on LGBTQ+ matters during the review of foster family home license applications.

Widmalm-Delphonse argued that the state is selectively emphasizing a specific aspect of the injunction to support its case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *