New Bill Could Change State Adoption Rules

The bill by Republican Rep. James Frank of Wichita Falls and several conservative co-sponsors would codify the practice in state law. Republican Rep. Bill Zedler, a prominent vaccination opponent, successfully added a ban on welfare workers giving emergency vaccinations to children removed from troubled homes without parental consent.

"Say you call an agency and say, 'I'm Jewish, ' and it's a Catholic agency and they hang up on you", Suzanne Bryant, an adoption attorney, told CBS. Statler said there are 15,000 children in foster care in Texas, and about a quarter were placed by Christian agencies.

"Without this legislation, providers caring for 25 percent of the children in the Texas foster care system are likely going to cease providing foster care and adoption services because we're under a threat of a lawsuit nearly all the time from someone who doesn't like our high standard or requirements", Statler said.

The Texas bill "would allow adoption agencies to turn away qualified, loving parents who are perhaps ideal in every way because the agency has a difference in religious belief", Human Rights Campaign senior legislative counsel Catherine Oakley told the AP.

The Texas Senate has approved a bill expanding the definition of hazing in civil and criminal cases.

HB 3859 would allow child-placing agencies to turn away qualified Texans seeking to care for a child in need - including LGBTQ couples, interfaith couples, single parents, married couples in which one prospective parent has previously been divorced, or other parents to whom the agency has a religious objection. She also asserted that the proposal violates the Constitution as it involves taxpayer money.

Darren Soto glad Puerto Rico will seek Bankruptcy-like measure under PROMESA
Eventually, a bankruptcy judge will decide how much they will lose, which may have a ripple effect in the municipal bond market. The island's population has declined by 350,000 in the past 10 years. "We can not keep stretching this chewing gum further".

FILE - In this January 10, 2017, file photo, Texas Speaker of the House Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, stands before the opening of the 85th Texas Legislative session in the house chambers at the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas.

The bill is similar to HB 3864, which failed to pass during the state's 2015 legislative session.

The measure would also protect providers if they place a child in a religiously based school or refuse to provide contraceptives or facilitate abortions. This means the legislation could have severe consequences not only for same-sex couples who would be denied services, but also for LGBTQ children in the care of these organizations. "This bill will make more foster care homes available".

Nationally and locally, anti-LGBTQ and anti-reproductive rights advocates have strived to frame government oversight and enforcement of nondiscrimination protections as "discrimination".

The bill had been scheduled for debate and approval Saturday in the state House, but lawmakers bogged down with other matters. But if they did, he said, the bill requires them to refer the parents to a "secondary" provider in the same area. Last month, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported that 65 children had been sleeping in the Child Protective Services offices or other temporary living arrangements in March. Jessica Farrar of Houston.

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