HARRISBURG - Speaker of the House of Representatives Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) today announced his support for a religious exemption in law so that faith-based agencies in Pennsylvania can provide vital adoption and foster care services.
Faith-based foster care and adoption services have a long and successful history in Pennsylvania. By way of example, The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Catholic dioceses of Erie, Greensburg and Harrisburg, which provide these services, cared for more than 580 children last year.
Turzai noted that not every agency can find a home for every child. Each agency, according to its tenets, helps children find homes and, thereby, saves these children.
“Unfortunately, Gov. Tom Wolf is discriminating against faith-based agencies by not providing an exemption for these organizations to provide the services for which they are so qualified to give,” Turzai said. “Our state, in fact the whole nation, is facing a crisis in foster care and adoption, and the Wolf Administration is excluding faith-based agencies from recruiting and supporting new foster families. We are not, in any way, saying that faith-based agencies are the only agencies that can provide the services. We are saying these faith-based agencies should be able to continue to pursue their mission to serve children.”
Turzai pointed out that the objective should be to take care of each and every child while respecting religious liberty, a concept on which the United States of America was founded.
Turzai asked: “Why would anyone want to prohibit any faith-based service from helping children to find great families in foster care or through adoption?”
Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Christine Goldbeck
717.787.7977 (office) 570.205.0736 (cell)