Christian adoption organization in New York wins religious protection lawsuit

by Seth Udinski

Seth Udinski, FISM News

In a win for religious freedom, the New York-based New Hope Family Services adoption organization has won its religious defense case against the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), according to reports earlier this week.

OCFS was required to pay the Christian adoption group $250,000 in reparations for a years-long effort to destroy New Hope for the adoption agency’s firm stance on only placing children exclusively in the care of heterosexual couples. Additionally, the state of New York is required to allow New Hope to continue its organizational responsibilities under religious freedom protection.

Senior Counsel Roger Brooks, who represented New Hope with the Alliance Defending Freedom legal team, said after the ruling,

New Hope is a private religious ministry that doesn’t take a dime from the government. Further, New Hope’s faith-guided services don’t coerce anyone and do nothing to interfere with other adoption providers who have different beliefs about family and the best interests of children. On behalf of the children waiting to be adopted and the prospective parents partnering with New Hope to provide loving and stable homes, we’re pleased to favorably settle this case and ensure the organization can continue its vital service to the Syracuse community.

Since 2018, New Hope had come under fire from the state of New York, as state left-wing elites claimed the organization acted in a discriminatory way in placing children only with married, heterosexual parents. Tuesday’s ruling came from a fall 2022 court order that gave the victory to New Hope Family Services.

According to Alliance Defending Freedom, New Hope Family Services’ fight is not over, as the organization is currently in a similar legal battle with the New York Division of Human Rights.

Author’s Biblical Analysis

It has become a common trend in modern American culture to see Christian adoption agencies come under attack simply for holding to the Christian worldview. In the Christian worldview, the family is the first and most important influence on a child’s life, and in order for that child to have the best chance of flourishing, that child must have a committed and loving father and mother.

This is not to say that a child cannot grow to love Christ in, for instance, a single-parent home. Rather, it simply says that the best opportunity for a child to grow and love Christ is if he or she is influenced by two parents, a father and a mother, who are committed to Christ and committed to each other.

Therefore, I believe it would be wise for Christians to understand the importance of the family.

Believer, if you are a father and a husband, you are charged with the protection and provision of your family. This applies physically, emotionally, and financially, but especially so spiritually. It is your highest duty to be the pastor of your wife and children. Read the Bible with them, pray with them and for them, bring them to a faithful church, and teach them to love the Lord in both words and actions. Love them, care for them, and protect them, as your Good Shepherd has done for you.

Believer, if you are a mother and a wife, treat your children as your greatest, most preeminent, and highest mission field. It is very likely that, more than anyone else, you will be their greatest influence. Love them, discipline them, care for them, and encourage them. Do it alongside your husband, as his helpmeet and as a team. Remember that God has placed your little ones in your care for a limited time, and He has not asked you to save their souls. That is His job; your job to is to be faithful to Him.

Believer, if you are a child in a household, I pray you are growing up with parents who love God. If this is the case, obey them. Make their job as your parent a joy, and learn from them. Grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ by reading your Bible every day, faithfully partaking in your church and youth group, working hard in school and your other responsibilities, and listening to wise counsel. If you are in a situation where your parents do not know the Lord, seek to still honor them as your authority, and pray for the wisdom from God to reveal to you when to obey them because they are your parents, and when to abstain out of obedience to God.

Your family is your first mission field. Take the opportunity to share the gospel with those whom the Lord has placed directly in front of you.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.  – Colossians 3:18-21