November 30, 2023

What Is Child Abuse?

New foster care placement rules claim that non-LGBTQ-affirming foster parents are guilty of child abuse.

Foster care is a challenging calling. The children in your care are there temporarily before they are placed either back with their own families or with an adoptive family. Foster care is also a challenging place for children. There are significantly more children in need of foster care services than there are homes and parents available.

Yet what does the Department of Health and Human Services’s Administration for Children and Families (ACF) want to do? Left-wing bureaucrats there want to make it even more difficult to be eligible as a “safe and proper” foster parent by adding extra regulations for children who identify as LGBTQ. Frankly, the ACF aims to make it a rule that any foster parent who doesn’t affirm their ward’s LGBTQ “identity” is guilty of child abuse.

According to the ACF, LGBTQ kids are overrepresented in the foster care system and are more at risk from bad outcomes than straight kids. What it means is that LGBTQ kids who aren’t in “affirming” foster homes are more likely to commit suicide. This is the same tactic used by LGBTQ activists, and it’s emotional blackmail based on junk science.

The ACF has proposed a new rule stating that agencies placing children must go through a discriminatory process to ensure LGBTQ kids are placed only in “affirming” foster homes. The safety requirements on these homes are:

  1. The fosterer “will establish an environment free of hostility, mistreatment, or abuse based on the child’s LGBTQI+ status.”

  2. The fosterer “is trained to be prepared with the appropriate knowledge and skills to provide for the needs of the child related to the child’s self-identified sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”

  3. The fosterer “will facilitate the child’s access to age-appropriate resources, services, and activities that support their health and well-being.”

By making these the safety requirements, the ACF is saying that only affirmation of LGBTQ+ identities is safe and appropriate.

For the first requirement, the ACF doesn’t explain what constitutes hostility, mistreatment, or abuse. Isn’t that a requirement for all foster parents, or is the bar set extra high for fostering LGBTQ kids because their feelings might get hurt more easily if contradicted?

Affirmation, particularly when it comes to kids who claim to be transgender, nonbinary, or any other made-up gender, feeds a delusion and doesn’t fix the actual mental issues that the child has going on. In other words, it’s not affirming at all. Dr. Riittakerttu Kaltiala, one of the pioneers of the gender-affirmation model for treatment of gender dysphoria, recently wrote an article explaining in detail her scientific findings and why the affirmation model is the exact wrong solution for 99.9% of kids.

Which leads to the absurdity of the second requirement. The affirmation model in the U.S. is a political agenda, not a scientific method. What that requirement would entail is that the provider is sufficiently an activist, not necessarily a person who would actually provide a child with the tools and the care to help him or her.

Finally, that third requirement is merely words. “Age-appropriate” is apparently subjective to the Left. Books like Gender Queer or Lawn Boy are deemed perfectly appropriate in middle school classrooms and libraries even though they depict sexually explicit and highly inappropriate material for children. These are the same lunatics that banned the Bible in Utah schools and libraries because of some passages that were deemed inappropriate.

It’s also worth asking: What constitutes age-appropriate “services”? Gender mutilation? Puberty blockers? Cross-sex hormones? If so, who deems those services appropriate?

The language is vague enough to be sinister. More importantly, this requirement doesn’t actually take into account the best interests of the child.

Children who have been removed from their homes and put into foster care are there because their families are in crisis. They are in need of a safe and loving place to provide that lacking care in their own homes. The last thing they need is a foster care placement that is going to lead them down the path to more gender confusion, risky sexual behavior, or targeting by abusers and groomers. It feeds a fantasy and doesn’t fix the underlying mental issues that are going on with that gender-confused child.

On the foster parent end of this preposterous new rule, it discriminates against the religious ones. The ACF claims that it will judge on a case-by-case basis, which is merely a placating ploy.

The ACF says it doesn’t want to discourage faith-based foster care parents from participating in this vital service. However, as Christian Alliance for Orphans points out: “Despite these attempts at religious accommodation, it is important to recognize the deeper consequences the proposed regulations would likely have over time. Almost certainly, they would create two distinct classes of partner nonprofit agencies: those certified as ‘safe’ because they have embraced the Biden Administration’s new definition of this term and those viewed as less safe because they have not. While some governments may continue to place some children in families through these agencies, it seems likely that the new two-class system would promote both implicit and explicit bias against these agencies and increasing exclusion by government, foundations and other funders, fellow nonprofits, and others.”

If the government can create this two-tiered foster care system, foisting child abuse on foster kids and smearing perfectly great foster parents, who’s to say the government won’t take it a step further and try to force parents to bend the knee under threat of taking their children away? It’s already happening in California.

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