A mother of five in Oregon appealed a ruling on Dec 13. prohibiting her from adopting children due to her refusal to adopt the tenets of “gender ideology” because of her Christian beliefs, according to a press release.

Jessica Bates wanted to adopt a sibling pair in 2022, but after going through the application process, she was told by Oregon’s Department of Human Services (ODHS) that she would need to support her adopted child’s desire to change his or her sex and to “affirm” their “gender identity.” Bates filed a lawsuit against the state on religious grounds challenging the gender identity policy in Oregon, which an Oregon district court ruled against in November, and Bates appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Jessica is a loving mother who feels called to adopt siblings under the age of 10 from foster care. But the state of Oregon is categorically excluding her from adopting any child because Jessica shares a view held by millions of Americans: that boys and girls are biologically different and should cherish that difference, not reject it,” Johannes Widmalm-Delphonse, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), a conservative legal organization representing Bates, said in a press release.

“Because Jessica will not promote Oregon’s radical gender ideology to children under the age of 10, the state considers her an unfit parent and has deprived hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Oregon’s system of the opportunity to be raised in a loving home. We urge the 9th Circuit to allow Jessica to continue her adoption journey and provide a loving home to children in need,” Widmalm-Delphonse continued.

Parents must agree to “respect, accept, and support the … sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression … of a child or young adult” who is placed in their house, Oregon’s adoption policy reads.

The ADF asserts that this policy and the prohibition of Bates adopting a child excludes her due to her religious beliefs, according to the press release.

The Supreme Court in 2023 ruled in favor of religious liberty in several landmark cases this year. The court ruled in June that a Christian web designer did not have to make wedding websites for same-sex marriages. They also ruled in favor of a Washington high school football coach in June who had been fired for praying on the field after games.

ODHS did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Brandon Poulteron December 29, 2023

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