Bethany Christian Will Allow LGBT Parents to Foster and Adopt

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The largest Christian adoption agency is now calling on “Christians with diverse beliefs” as it aims to serve more children under a new inclusion policy.

Bethany Christian Services, the largest Christian adoption agency in the United States, has changed a longstanding policy and will now place children with LGBT parents for foster care and adoption across its operations in 32 states.

The news was announced today in a ministry-wide email and first reported in The New York Times. President Chris Pulasky told employees that “Bethany remains steadfast in its Christian faith,” and that the new practices will allow the organization to further its mission “to provide safe, loving, and stable homes to as many vulnerable children as possible.”

The change comes two years after Bethany opted to allow LGBT placements in its home state of Michigan. Pulasky was “disappointed” with the outcome of a lawsuit there, but at the time said if Bethany didn’t comply with state requirements it would miss out on serving thousands of children in foster care.

As legal fights over religious convictions on family and LGBT rights have continued to make their way through the courts and Congress, Bethany Christian decided to incorporate the move toward LGBT inclusion across the organization.

“We will now offer services with the love and compassion of Jesus to the many types of families who exist in our world today,” Palusky said. “We’re taking an all hands on deck’ approach where all are welcome.”

Robin Fretwell Wilson, a legal expert and an adoptee, applauded the move as an example of a Christian organization finding a way forward in the culture wars.

“I was pleased to see them talk about this as ‘all hands on deck’,” said Wilson, who directs University of Illinois’s Institute of Government and …

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