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Foster families must affirm ‘gender identity’ or children will be ‘transferred’ from home under Biden admin’s proposed rule
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Foster families must affirm ‘gender identity’ or children will be ‘transferred’ from home under Biden admin’s proposed rule

The Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services recently proposed a new rule that would require foster families to affirm the “self-identified gender identity” of any child in their care, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

A proposal published by HHS on Thursday aims to have children in the foster care system “transferred” from homes where families do not address them by their “chosen name” and “identified pronouns.” The department claimed the rules would protect “LGBTQI+ youth” by ensuring “safe and appropriate placement.”

Foster families cannot “undermine, suppress, or change the sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression of a child,” the rule states. Therefore, the foster care system would not be permitted to place “LGBTQI+ identifying children with a provider who unreasonably limits or denies a child’s ability to express their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

“Safe and appropriate” foster families will be “trained” to “provide for the needs” of the “child’s self-identified sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression,” including providing “access to age-appropriate resources, services, and activities that support their health and well-being.”

“In certain cases, we anticipate that a report from a LGBTQI+ youth that they feel their placement is not safe or appropriate should merit a response of great urgency from the agency,” the proposed rule read.

Foster families may apply for a religious exemption. However, the agency will “assess whether applying the requirement furthers a compelling interest and whether there are less restrictive alternatives available.”

“Thus, even if the rule substantially burdens a religious practice, an exemption would not be required if the burden is necessary to the advancement of a compelling government interest through the least restrictive means possible,” the rule adds.

The proposed rules were created following an Executive Order signed by Biden last year directing HHS to “protect LGBTQI+ youth,” including by ensuring “access to medically necessary care from harmful State and local laws and practices.”

In a Wednesday statement, the Biden administration said the new proposed rules would “require that every state’s child welfare agency ensure that LGBTQI+ children in their care are placed in foster homes where they will be protected from mistreatment related to their sexual orientation or gender identity, where their caregivers have received special training on how to meet their needs, and where they can access the services they need to thrive.”

The proposed rule is open to public comment for the next 60 days.

The HHS and the Biden administration did not respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.

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