Texas Bill Regarding Child-Placing Agency Refusals (SB 1536)
This law was last updated on Dec 7, 2017
SB 1536 would prohibit the government from requiring a child-placing agency to provide a service if the service, or the circumstances under which the service would be provided, conflicts with the child-placing agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
If a child-placing agency declines to provide a service due to a religious belief, the agency would be required to:
- provide the applicant for the service with the written contact information for the department and any other adoption or foster care service providers; and
- promptly refer the applicant to another agency that can perform the service, or the list of child-placing agencies on the department’s website.
The bill would allow a child-placing agency under contract with the state to decline any referral for foster care case management or adoption services under that contract, if such services would conflict with the child-placing agency’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
The bill would prohibit the government from taking any adverse action against a child-placing agency for declining to provide services or declining to accept a referral from the department.
The bill provides that a decision to decline a referral from the department to provide case management or adoption services for a child may not be considered as a factor in determining whether a placement in connection with the referral is in the best interest of the child.
If passed, the bill would allow child adoption and foster placement agencies the right to discriminate in, or refuse, the services they offer (such as child placement) to LGBTQ families and children.