The history of same-sex adoption in this country has been challenging, but legally married same-sex couples can adopt a child in South Carolina. However, that does not mean there are no challenges to this type of adoption, and the US Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about whether religious agencies can turn away same-sex parents. At the Elliott Frazier Law Firm, our Greenville family law attorneys want to discuss what this could mean for couples in SC.
Religion and same-sex adoption at a crossroad
Recently, the United States Supreme Court said that it would consider whether or not religious adoption agencies will be able to turn away same-sex parents. The case, Fulton v Philadelphia, is the first chance the religious groups have with a now majority conservative Supreme Court to allow certain organizations to sidestep existing civil rights policies concerning same-sex adoption while also still receiving federal funds.
The dispute, in this case, began with Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services officials discovering that a group they work with to place children, Catholic Social Services (CSS), has a policy that refuses service to same-sex couples seeking to become foster parents. Because the city saw this as discrimination based on sexual orientation, they subsequently cut off parts of the CSS contract for placing children in homes but continued to fund CSS for other activities. The religious group filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming that its First Amendment rights to free exercise had been violated and that they were victims of religious hostility.
A federal district court and a federal appeals court has ruled against the adoption agency. However, the US Supreme Court could overrule the lower courts’ decisions and make it legal in this country for religious agencies to refuse to work with same-sex couples when it comes to adoption.
Our team is ready to help
If you or your spouse have a question about same-sex adoption in South Carolina, you should contact the Elliott Frazier Law Firm today. Our knowledgeable and compassionate team will help ensure that you understand every aspect of this process, and we will talk about how this Supreme Court case could affect your adoption. You can contact our Greenville family law attorney for a consultation today so we can plan your next steps forward together.