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


Published November 27, 2023

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On 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,” that 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. 

Read EPPC’s Press Release about EPPC’s and other groups’ comments here.


Rachel N. Morrison is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where she directs EPPC’s HHS Accountability Project. An attorney, her legal and policy work focuses on religious liberty, health care rights of conscience, the right to life, nondiscrimination, and civil rights.

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