State signals shift on LGBTQ foster kids


State News

August 6, 2019 - 11:19 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ child welfare agency has drafted guidelines urging foster parents to allow LGBTQ kids in their care to “express themselves as they see themselves,” riling conservatives a little more than a year after the state granted legal protections to faith-based adoption agencies that do not place children in LGBTQ homes.

The Department for Children and Families issued draft “guidance” for “prudent parenting” in mid-July, six months after Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly took office. It said foster homes should recognize LGBTQ children “by their preferred identity if it differs from their sex assigned at birth.”

Conservatives read the document as a policy directive for reshaping foster families’ lives and an attempt to skirt a 2018 law that Kelly doesn’t like for protecting faith-based adoption agencies. It’s a sharp break in tone with that law, which prevents the state from barring agencies from providing services if they refuse to place children in homes violating their religious beliefs.

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