Couple Opens Lawsuit After They were Denied Adoption For Being Jewish P-admin Atheist Republic

Read More Atheist Republic On January 19, a Tennessee couple sued the Department of Children’s Services after an adoption agency refused to facilitate their adoption because they are Jewish. Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram said they were denied state-mandated training and certification because of their religion.
Holston United Methodist Home for Children denied the couple access to state-mandated foster-parent training and a home-study certification.
According to the Times of Israel, the couple was “disqualified” after disclosing their religious background. They did not “conceal the mezuzah on their door” when representatives of the adoption agency visited their house, the Times of Israel reported.
By the time the training was set, they were notified that it was against agency policy to place a child in a non-Christian home. In an email, Holston United Methodist Home for Children explained that they would only provide adoption services to families who share their belief system as a Christian organization.
“In order to avoid conflicts or delays with future service delivery,” the adoption agency explained.
“I felt like I’d been punched in the gut,” Elizabeth said. “It was very hurtful that the agency seemed to think that a child would be better off in state custody than with a loving family like us,” she added.
Holston United Methodist Home for Children receives funding from the government through the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. Holston still insists that discriminating against religion is their religious freedom despite being funded by taxpayers’ money.
The couple’s lawsuit is the first to challenge Tennessee’s backward adoption law passed in 2020. The bill effectively allowed religious state-funded adoption agencies to discriminate on religion and sexual orientation.
The Americans United for Separation of Church and State (AUSCS), a nonprofit that advocates for the separation of church and state, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the couple at the Davidson County Chancery Court.
Alex Luchenitser, associate vice president and associate legal director for the AUSCS, said that Tennessee’s constitution “promises religious freedom and equality for everyone.” “Tennessee is reneging on that promise by allowing a taxpayer-funded agency to discriminate against the couple because they are Jews,” Luchenitser said.

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