Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Michigan HB 4188 - 4190 Adoption Discrimination

Private adoption and foster care agencies who took in close to 11 Million tax dollars last year are asking for the right to refuse services to people who don't conform to their religious beliefs here in Michigan. Governor Rick Snyder, has previously stated that he would veto this bill package, lets let him know that is the right decision for Michigan's children who have no right, at this point to refuse to be placed in care with agencies which discriminates against the child's firmly held beliefs or identities. This was my testimony from the Michigan Senate Committee on Families, Seniors And Human Services. "Hello, my name is Sunday Koffron Taylor, I am the vice president of the foster care alumni Association of America Michigan chapter. Vice-Chair of Farmington youth assistance and I am also a licensed Foster parent in the state of Michigan. Long before I ever became a foster parent I aged out of Michigan's foster care system, and it is wearing my foster care alumni hat that I am speaking with you today. It has not escaped the consciousness of the foster care alumni community that when legislation has been put forth affecting foster children and the child welfare system the Voice of those whom these policies and legislations will affect directly Are rarely if ever consulted. In this particular package of legislation it is our belief that if anybody involved has the right to have their religious freedom and or preferences honored, it would be those of the children involved. children in foster care have a right to not be used as pawns in anyone's religious or political agenda. Having an agency that provides foster care and adoption services is a choice. Being a social worker is a choice. Becoming foster or adoptive parents is a choice. The only people within the child welfare system with no voice and no choice, is the children, it is supposed to serve. I ask you, where would this legislation leave the Muslim child? The Buddhist, the agnostic, The Hindu the atheist child,do they not have the right to be placed in homes where their heritage, culture, identities, religions and religious freedom will at the very least be respected? what about the LGBT and questioning teen who comes of age to discover they are placed with in an agency who chooses to refuse to work with people like them? What are the rights of these children? And may I ask, who is looking out for their rights and religious freedoms? It is our belief that a foster care system needs as many varying types of foster homes as there are varying types of children within it. This legislation purports to allow service providers to follow their conscience, but in reality will allow those providers to ignore the best interests and rights of children in care by refusing to provide services to anyone who does not share their beliefs. We believe Discriminating against any qualified and willing Foster parent candidate will only hurt Michigan's children." Let Governor Rick Snyder know that Michigan's foster children are counting on him to insure that they are able to find homes that are right suitable for them, not a few that fall into the narrow confines of somebody else's "sincerely held" beliefs.

Powered by Blogger