Governor Abbott signs adoption bill that allows refusals based on religious objections

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HOUSTON - On Thursday, Governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3859, which allows publicly funded adoption agencies in Texas to refuse pairing children with non-Christian, unmarried or LGBTQ parents due to religious objections.

The bill was supported by many Christian adoption agencies in the state, who felt placing children in certain situations violated their beliefs and this bill could help prevent them from lawsuits.

The bill is also known as the "Freedom to Serve Children Act," but opponents say it doesn't serve, but hurts kids.

"To bar a loving, caring home from adopting a child in need, that in itself is a very disappointing thing," said Tahir Malik, a volunteer at Baitus Samee Mosque in Houston. "There are a lot of kids out there. They're hungry to find a home, so to rob them of that is disappointing.

Dr. Valerie Jackson, owner of Monarch Family Services, facilitates adoptions, including for LGBTQ families. She's concerned the bill will decrease adoption rates.

"If we say child first, our personal opinions second, then these decisions that happen in Austin would be very easy to make," Jackson said.

Putting kids first is definitely something we should all agree on.

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