A couple are suing the children’s services department in Tennessee after an adoption agency refused to help them because they are Jewish.
Gabriel and Elizabeth Rutan-Ram, of Knoxville, USA, said they were denied foster parent training and a home study certificate by Holston United Methodist Home for Children.
They filed a lawsuit on in the early hour of today against the Christian -based agency, which is partly funded by the state, after trying to adopt a child last year.
It is the first in Tennessee to challenge a new law that allows religious adoption agencies to deny service to families whose religious or moral beliefs do not match the provider’s, their attorney said”.
Gabriel and Elizabeth realised they could not have biological children of their own last year and later found a child in Florida who they were excited to foster with plans to adopt.
They claim they were first told by Holston that the organisation would assist them with their out-of-state placement.
But on the day they were due to begin training, they were told it only helped families who shared their Christian beliefs and the couple were unable to complete the fostering process, according to the lawsuit.
Couple claim they were turned down by adoption agency because they are Jewish.
Bill Lee, governor of Tennessee, smiles during the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, US
Bill Lee, governor of Tennessee, at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Dallas, Texas, US.
Elizabeth said: “I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. It was the first time I felt discriminated against because I am Jewish.
“It was very shocking and it was very hurtful that the agency seemed to think that a child would be better off in state custody than with a loving family like us.”
The Rutan-Rams are currently fostering and hope to adopt a teenage girl through a separate agency with hopes of adopting again in the future, according to the US publication.
Holston recently acknowledged receiving public money to offer foster care placement and training for the Tennessee Department of Child Services.
Do you think they have been unfairly marginalised?……Let me know your thoughts on this in the comment section below.