Dear Gov. McDonnell of Virginia, Thanks for the Life Sentence aka ‘Adoption Conscience Clause’

Here I am, a five-year-old foster care kid, hoping for a forever family. My birth parents, who signed away all rights to me, are out of the picture. They do not send money, gifts, or even best wishes for my birthday.

zax14/flickr.com

For two years, I have waited for a forever family to adopt me.  I have met a couple of families, but so far noone has chosen me. Everyone says that it is  hard for us older foster kids to find a family. I hear that once I get to eight-years-old, my chances of being adopted will be even worse.

I have no real family, no place to lay down my roots, or feel safe, Yet, I am expected to thrive in a world that values family above all things. There have been a couple of nice couples in to see me. One was a couple of ladies, the other was a Jewish family who seemed so loving. I sure wish they could have taken me to my forever home.

They are not allowed though, because I happen to live in Virginia (or maybe its is North Dakota). In these states, the Catholic agency that holds my destiny in their hands, has decided that it’s better for me to remain in foster care, rather than be placed with anyone who is not Catholic.

My drug addicted, abusive birth parents were Catholic, and since they were such upstanding members of  society, I have to be placed with other Catholics. That’s what they wanted. Sure, they left me here and are living proof that claiming a religion does not make you a decent caregiver, but laws in my state say that my Catholic agency can choose to leave me in foster care, rather than allow me to be raised by non-Catholics. It is called an ‘agencies’ freedom of conscience’.

So here I sit, wishing for a forever family, while loving, caring, financially secure, and responsible couples wish for me.  To the politicians, the new laws are a victory. For me, it’s a life sentence.

Thanks for nothing Gov. Bob McDonnell!

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