Wednesday, July 13, 2011

ILLINOIS: Judge Reinstates Adoption Contract With Catholic Charities

An Illinois judge has temporarily reinstated Catholic Charities as a state-funded adoption agency. This move comes one day after Illinois announced it was severing Catholic Charities' contract because it was apparent that the group would not abide by the new civil unions law.
Judge John Schmidt said the abrupt termination of the contracts could affect foster kids' well-being despite the state's assurances that about 2,000 foster children in Catholic Charities-supported homes would not be affected. He set a hearing on the matter Aug. 17. "We need to work together in these things, not to have this absolute bulwark, walls of separation between us," Catholic Charities lawyer Thomas Brejcha of Chicago said after the hearing. "All these kids need a good chance." The suit argues that the state can only enforce its dicta if there is a "compelling government interest" and it's the "least restrictive" means of achieving it. A far less restrictive method would be allowing Catholic Charities to continue referring gay couples to other agencies who handle adoptions and foster placements, its lawyers said.