However, OCFS changed course later in the month when it reviewed New Hope’s policy and procedures manual and singled out the nonprofit’s policy regarding child placements. OCFS described the policy as “discriminatory and impermissible” despite the fact that New Hope clearly articulates its beliefs to clients and has faced no formal complaints from prospective parents due to the policy. OCFS provided an ultimatum that New Hope revise its policy or submit a close-out plan for its adoption program.
“Adoption providers exist to help children, not to affirm the desires of adults,” ADF Senior Counsel Erik Stanley, director of the ADF Center for Christian Ministries. “There’s no reason for the state to single out and punish those who hold the belief that the best home for a child includes a father and a mother. Children in Syracuse, throughout the state, and across country will suffer if this hostility toward faith-based adoption providers becomes the status quo.”
The lawsuit, New Hope Family Services v. Poole, asks the court to protect New Hope from being singled out, punished, or disfavored because of its religious beliefs—beliefs that motivate its care for orphans, women facing unplanned pregnancies, and married couples struggling with infertility.