President Donald Trump called Thursday for helping children in need—both born and unborn—by supporting adoption.
“Adoption affirms the inherent value of human life and signals that every child—born or unborn—is wanted and loved,” Trump said in a statement, released Wednesday by the White House, proclaiming November as National Adoption Month. “Children, regardless of race, sex, age, or disability deserve a loving embrace into families they can call their own.
“This month, we honor the thousands of American families who have grown because of adoption,” the president continued. “We also stand with those children in foster care, and we appeal to families, communities, and houses of worship across our great nation to help these children find a permanent home.”
Trump also offered praise to parents willing to put their children up for adoption to have a better life.
“My administration also acknowledges the courage of those mothers and fathers who place their child for adoption,” he said. “Our nation grows stronger because of the love and sacrifice of parents, both birth and adoptive.”
Trump, who has promoted pro-life policies since becoming president, didn’t directly address abortion. However, he seemed to allude to adoption as a better choice for unplanned pregnancies.
“We must also encourage all Americans to recognize that adoption is a powerful way to show women they are not alone in an unexpected pregnancy,” the president said.
A letter from 78 Republican members of the House and Senate earlier this year called on Trump to protect faith-based child welfare services from losing federal funding for following their religious beliefs. In Illinois, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts, faith-based agencies were forced to close for refusing to assist with adoptions by same-sex couples.
The lawmakers asked Trump to enforce existing laws making it illegal for states to withhold funding based on an organization’s moral objections.
The Child Welfare Provider and Inclusion Act, a bill in Congress, would protect faith-based adoption agencies and other child welfare providers from discrimination by federal, state, or local governments.
“With hundreds of thousands of children currently in foster care, and the opioid crisis flooding even more children into the system, now more than ever, policymakers should remove—not create—barriers of discrimination against child welfare service providers on the basis of a provider’s moral or religious beliefs,” said Melanie Israel, a research associate with The Heritage Foundation.
“Protecting a diversity of providers and their ability to operate according to their values—as well as their ability to work with families who share those values—takes nothing away from anyone, and makes it more likely that the greatest possible number of children will be welcomed into a forever home.”
The president’s proclamation also addressed the unique challenges facing children in foster care.
“My administration is dedicated to supporting the children in foster care who are seeking permanent homes,” Trump said. “Unfortunately, many youth leave foster care at the age of 18 without lasting family connections. These children deserve a permanent family, which can provide them with love, stability, support, and encouragement as they pursue personal, educational, and employment goals and confront life’s opportunities and challenges.”