The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a proposed rule Wednesday that would require states to “transfer” foster children from families who do not support their “gender identity,” a copy of the rule showed.
Under the proposed rule, children in the foster care system will only be placed with families who the HHS classifies as a “safe and appropriate placement,” meaning families must use a child’s “identified pronouns” and “chosen name,” the rule said. “Safe” families will undergo extensive training to “provide” for the child’s “needs,” and the state will transfer fostered children away from families who do not “support” their “self-identified gender identity and expression,” upon completion of an investigation.
“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,” HHS wrote in the proposed rule. “For example, given the extensive evidence that LGBTQI+ youth who face bullying, discrimination, or harassment related to their sexual orientation or gender identity are at significantly increased risk of violence or self-harm, we anticipate that agencies should respond with urgency when a LGBTQI+ child raises concerns that a placement that is not safe and appropriate.”
The rule also clarifies that foster parents will be guilty of “neglect” or “abuse” if they “retaliate” against a child for their “gender identity,” including if they restrict the child’s access to “age-appropriate materials” such as “health care supportive of their sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.” Families will be required to help children go through sex-change surgeries or allow them to take puberty blockers, including children younger than 14.
Families who have religious objections to changing genders or engaging in same-sex relationships will not be allowed to foster children who “identify” as “LGBTQIA,” because they will not fit under the definition of a “safe placement,” the rule clarifies. HHS says families can apply for a religious exception, but claimed that the agency has “compelling government interest” that outweighs any “religious restrictions.”
HHS created the rule after President Joe Biden requested in June that the agency “take action” to “safeguard LGBTQI+ youth from dangerous practices,” a White House press release said. Biden praised the HHS rule in a Wednesday press release and said the rule would give children “the services they need to thrive.”
HHS plans to publish the proposed rule on Thursday and will allow individuals to comment on the potential rule for the next 60 days.
HHS and the White House did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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