SC governor asks court to step in faith-based foster care lawsuit

Gov. Henry McMaster issued an Executive Order in 2018 that allows foster cares to have a...
Gov. Henry McMaster issued an Executive Order in 2018 that allows foster cares to have a religious affiliation and participate in government programs.(Live 5/File)
Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 12:47 PM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - In a new filing, Gov. Henry McMaster asked the U.S. District Court of South Carolina to protect the state’s ability to partner with faith-based foster care agencies.

McMaster issued an executive order in 2018 that allows foster cares to have a religious affiliation and participate in government programs.

A year later, the American Civil Liberties Union sued South Carolina and the federal government. The lawsuit was over a religious non-profit called Miracle Hill that only works with families that share its religious beliefs.

“Over 3,800 of South Carolina’s children are currently in foster care, and we need all the help we can get to see that they are placed in loving homes,” McMaster said. “This lawsuit is a shortsighted attack against every South Carolinian’s constitutionally-protected religious liberty.

The governor’s office is already working with Beckett Law, a non-profit law firm, and Nelson Mullins Law Firm to fight the lawsuit, according to a news release.

“We will continue to fight against any attempt to stop our private partners from being able to help provide these critical services simply because they choose to do so in accordance with their faith,” McMaster said.

The governor’s office says they also work with “an array of diverse private agencies” that help recruit more parents for foster children.