Daugaard Signs Faith Based Child Services Protections Bill

Mar 11, 2017

Credit Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill that allows faith-based adoption agencies to use their discretion when placing children…

Daugaard says the bill is legislation that’s been distributed to multiple states. He points to language in the bill about tax credits…

“But, very clearly that would have no applicability in South Dakota because we have no income tax. Nor do we have any property tax credits or other tax credits that are available for those kinds of situations," Daugaard says. "So, this language was written to be used in multiple places. Maybe it’s in response to concerns that have risen in other places."

Daugaard says child placement agencies that receive state money for adoption and foster services may not discriminate.

However, critics say the law will allow discrimination against couples who don’t align with an agency’s religious beliefs.

The law requires any agency that denies child-placement to provide prospective parents a list of other adoption agencies in the state.