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Illinois will not renew adoption contracts with Catholic Charities over civil union dispute

Tuesday, July 12, 2011
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The state of Illinois has announced it will not renew its foster care and adoption contracts with Catholic Charities across Illinois, because the group has said it would not comply with the state’s new civil unions law.


Catholic Charities wants to be exempted from the law, and deny adoption and foster care services to gay couples, but Gov. Pat Quinn said the law granting same-sex couples many of the same rights as married couples is staying put.

On Friday and Monday, the Department of Children and Family Services notified Catholic Charities organizations in four suburban or Downstate dioceses that the agency intended to terminate their foster-care and adoption contracts with the state because of the church’s unwillingness to abide by Illinois’ new civil unions law.

“They made a choice,” Quinn said of the dioceses. “They have a law in Illinois. It’s the civil unions law. I signed it into law. We’re not going back. Any organization that decides that because of the civil unions law that they won’t participate voluntarily in a program, that’s their choice.”

Illinois’ civil unions law requires any charity that accepts state money to provide child-care services to treat people in civil unions as it would treat married couples. The state provides Catholic Charities $30 million annually for its services.

In April, the state Senate voted down a measure that would have allowed religious and faith-based groups to deny same-sex couples from adopting or fostering children.

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