Wicker, Hyde-Smith Cosponsor Bill to Protect Faith-Based Child Welfare Providers

November 28, 2023

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Cindy Hyde-Smith, R-Miss., have joined U.S. Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., in introducing legislation to prohibit the federal government and states from discriminating against faith-based child welfare service providers, including adoption and foster care providers.

The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act (S.3344) would prohibit federal, state and local government agencies that receive federal adoption assistance funding from discriminating against child welfare service providers based on the providers’ unwillingness to act contrary to their religious beliefs.

“Faith-based adoption and foster care providers do incredible work finding loving homes for our nation's orphans,” said Wicker. “It is deeply disturbing that certain states are seeking to drive these providers out of the marketplace because of their religious and moral beliefs, leaving children to pay the price. This legislation would protect federally-funded child welfare providers from discrimination based on their beliefs, allowing them to continue serving children in need."

“Child service providers who hold fast to their faith and find loving homes for children are an inspiration, and don’t deserve to be penalized or targeted by the Biden administration,” Hyde-Smith said. “This is reasonable legislation that protects religious freedoms and supports an all-hands-on-deck approach to ensuring the best welfare for vulnerable children.”

“Faith-based foster care organizations have provided reliable, effective resources to countless families and children with nowhere else to go,” said Scott. “Despite their success, President Biden has caved to the far-left, making it harder for these organizations to provide critical services and leaving the kids who need them most out in the cold. I’m fighting back to protect religious freedom and support the incredible work of these invaluable organizations.”

In addition to Wicker and Hyde-Smith, additional S.3344 cosponsors include U.S. Senators James Risch, R-Idaho, Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Roger Marshall, M.D., R-Kan., James Lankford, R-Okla., Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Mike Braun, R-Ind., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn., John Cornyn, R-Texas, Pete Ricketts, R-Neb., and John Barrasso, M.D., R-Wyo.

The legislation has been endorsed by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Heritage Action, Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee, and the Family Research Council.