Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey has joined forces with a coalition of 19 states to oppose a new rule proposed by the Biden Administration. This rule mandates foster care agencies to place children with families committed to supporting transgender identity. Attorney General Bailey argues that this rule is unconstitutional and could decrease the number of foster placement options available for children.
“As a foster parent, I prioritize the well-being of children. The proposed rule by the Biden Administration goes against this by potentially excluding individuals with strong religious beliefs from fostering,” Bailey stated. “It contradicts our Constitution’s principles, similar to the circumstances in the Fulton decision where the Supreme Court invalidated a comparable rule. This rule could destabilize children in need of a secure environment. Missouri will not endorse this.”
In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Bailey and the coalition emphasize that the rule infringes upon the First Amendment rights, namely freedom of religion and speech. They reference the U.S. Supreme Court’s history of disallowing the exclusion of foster care providers based on religious beliefs and mandating speech on private entities.
The letter also explains why the rule, which may exclude faith-based individuals and organizations from participating in foster care, is problematic. This exclusion could significantly reduce the number of available placements for foster children.
Furthermore, the attorneys general argue that the rule would usurp states’ authority in managing their foster care systems, creating financial strains by requiring states to adapt to federal policies.
The complete text of the first letter can be accessed here.
The full content of the second letter is available here.