Verify: Would new bill allow Texas adoption agencies to discriminate?

We're verifying if a new bill being debated by state lawmakers would allow Texas adoption agencies to discriminate.

HOUSTON  - A lot of people are talking about a bill being debated by state lawmakers that would allegedly allow Texas adoption agencies to discriminate against people who want to adopt if they are gay, Jewish or Muslim - so is it true?

Here is what our Verify fact-checkers found:

The bill in question is House Bill 3859, also known as the Freedom to Serve Children Act. It says adoption and foster agencies in the state could decline services to individuals based on "the provider's sincerely held religious beliefs".

Technically, if it violated a provider's religious beliefs, agencies could reject Jewish, Muslim, gay, single, etc. couples looking to adopt, for example. 

However, supporters say it is a way to provide protections to organizations that might otherwise leave the state system, which is already facing a critical shortage of foster homes.

We can verify that a Texas bill would let adoption agencies refuse parents on religious grounds but it has not been passed yet. 

VERIFY: Sources

House Bill 3859

 

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