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Catholic Charities agencies around the country have long provided adoption and foster care services to the neediest children. Catholic Charities takes on the most difficult placements, including older, abused children and children with special needs. When placing children with couples, Catholic Charities ensures those children enjoy the advantage of having a mother and a father who are married.
In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston, which had been one of the nation's oldest adoption agencies, faced a difficult choice: violate its conscience, or close its doors. To be licensed by the state, Catholic Charities of Boston would have to obey state laws barring "sexual orientation discrimination." Because marriage had been redefined in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities could not limit its placements to married couples. Catholic leaders asked the state for a religious exemption but were refused. Catholic Charities of Boston was forced to shut down its adoption services.
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