EPPC Scholars and Others Submit Comments Opposing HHS Proposed Rule Requiring “Affirmation” of a Foster Child’s “LGBTQI+ Identity” 


November 29, 2023


On Monday, November 27, 2023, EPPC scholars Rachel N. Morrison and Mary Rice Hasson submitted a public comment opposing the Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed rule, “Safe and Appropriate Foster Care Placement Requirements for Titles IV-E and IV-B,” which would require foster care providers to “affirm” a child’s “LGBTQI+ identity.” 

As the scholars explained in their comment: 

Consistent with statutory requirements, all children in foster care should receive “safe and proper” care, including children who identity as “LGBTQI+.” This rule, however, proposes special considerations for “LGBTQI+ children” premised on two incorrect and harmful assumptions: (1) not “affirming” a child’s self-proclaimed LGBTQI+ identity is unsafe and abuse; and (2) foster care providers who hold traditional beliefs (religious or otherwise) about marriage, sexuality, and gender are unable to provide LGBTQI+ children with safe and loving homes. These premises are not only false but are harmful to children in foster care and will undermine religious freedom and parental rights far beyond the foster care context. 

The scholars urged the Department to withdraw and abandon its harmful proposed rule. 

Religious, medical, legal, and policy organizations and experts also submitted public comments opposing HHS’ proposal. 

About the EPPC comment signers: 

Rachel N. Morrison, J.D., is an EPPC Fellow, director of EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project, and former attorney at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. 

Mary Hasson, J.D., is the EPPC Kate O’Beirne Senior Fellow, an attorney, and co-founder of EPPC’s Person and Identity Project, an initiative that equips parents and faith-based institutions to counter gender ideology and promote the truth of the human person.  

Others submitting comments on the proposed rule include: 

Morrison gave comments on the proposed rule to The Federalist, the New York Sun, and the Daily Signal.


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