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Arizona Law Sanctions Taxpayer-funded Discrimination and Harms Children and Families

Contact: Camilla Jenkins, cjenkins@childrensrights.org | 917-971-1784

PHOENIX, AZ—On April 25, Governor Doug Ducey signed into law a bill allowing faith-based foster care and adoption agencies to turn down prospective parents because of the agencies’ religious beliefs. The new law opens the door to discrimination against same-sex couples and families of differing religions seeking to foster or adopt a child at a time when the foster care system in Arizona is under enormous strain. According to the Arizona Department of Child Safety, there are close to five children in foster care for every one licensed foster family. 

Daniele Gerard, Senior Staff Attorney at Children’s Rights, issued a statement in response:

“This law grants agencies a taxpayer-funded license to discriminate. It sends a message to LGBTQ+ and religious minority families and children that their rights are not protected and their identities don’t matter. Every child deserves a safe and loving family, period. Limiting the number of families that can foster or adopt due to the religion they follow or the person they love needlessly harms children, especially at a time when there is a shortage of foster homes in Arizona. Now more than ever, we continue to urge Congress to pass the John Lewis Every Child Deserves a Family Act to provide protections for LGBTQ+ and religious minority parents and ensure they are treated with dignity and respect.”



Every day, children are harmed in America’s broken child welfare, juvenile justice, education, and healthcare systems. Through relentless strategic advocacy and legal action, we hold governments accountable for keeping kids safe and healthy. Children’s Rights, a national non-profit organization, has made a lasting impact for hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children. For more information, please visit www.childrensrights.org