Adoption is part of who we are!
November marks National Adoption Month, the perfect follow-up to October, which was Respect Life Month. Salvation history is replete with instances of adoption and fostering, from Moses to Samuel to Jesus himself, and of course culminating in the adoption of each of us as sons and daughters of God the Father! There are so many aspects of this pro-life practice to learn about, such as reunification with birth parents, interracial adoption, or the challenges and misconceptions of adoption.

If you are hoping to adopt a child or know someone who may need to make the difficult choice to offer their child for adoption, you can always contact your diocese's adoption services provider to learn about the help available in your area. Also be sure to check out our videos Made for Life and Made for the Common Good!

To learn about the legal challenges currently surrounding Catholic-run adoption efforts, you can find more in the Legal/Policy Updates below.
Protecting women and girls in sports
There has been increasing pressure in various organized sports to allow men who identify as transgender women to compete in women's sports. Defending the nature of the human person as a sexed, embodied being, Bishop David A. Konderla of Tulsa, chairman of the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, issued a letter of support for a pair of bills in Congress which would protect women's opportunities in sports.

Together with Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J., chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, Bishop Konderla stressed the need to "avoid anything that debases human dignity, including rejection of a person’s body or unequal treatment between men and women." The full press release and letter are now available to read.
Made for Love is returning soon!
Made for Love will be returning before the end of the year! Our podcast on living out the call to love has a lot of highlights already, so be sure to catch up with some of them here. We've already aired episodes related to both of the above stories.

In 2018, we talked all about Adoption.

Later that year, we ran an episode about Sports and Family Life.

The playlist of all episodes can be accessed on Marriage: Unique for a Reason.
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Legal/Policy Updates

Good News in Adoption & Foster Care - On October 5th, a New York federal court granted a preliminary injunction in favor of the New Hope pregnancy and adoption center in Syracuse, allowing it to place with only opposite-sex couples. On October 8th, a Washington federal court ruled that a state can't automatically disqualify prospective foster parents because of their religious beliefs on sexuality. Coming up, on November 4th, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral argument in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, where Catholic Social Services is trying to survive a mandate to work with same-sex couples. The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief with the court in June.

Still Dissenting - Former Kentucky count clerk, Kim Davis, was denied an appeal to the Supreme Court on October 5th, on whether she is immune from cases brought by same-sex couples. Though agreeing with the technical outcome, Justices Thomas and Alito wrote a strong criticism of Obergefell's effect on religious liberty.

Protecting Seminaries - On October 7th, a California federal court ruled that a Protestant seminary, even while receiving federal funding, is exempt from discrimination law insofar as it may expel students in same-sex "marriages."

Changing the Terms - On October 13th, in the confirmation hearing for Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Senator Hirono (D-HI) criticized her for using the term "sexual preference," and Merriam-Webster then quickly redefined the phrase to designate it as "offensive."

Prison Cases - Also on October 13th, the Supreme Court again refused to hear Idaho's appeal from a case that forced the state to provide "gender confirmation" surgery to a person in prison.

New Words in Law - On October 17th, the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act became law. The bill, containing life-saving suicide prevention measures, also includes the first known use of the term “LGBTQ” in federal statute and affirms that self-identification.

Remaking Parenthood - On October 26th, the U.S. State Dept. abandoned appeals in cases where it had been ordered to grant birthright citizenship to the legal children of same-sex couples born to surrogates overseas. Births of a US father's child to a foreign woman abroad are normally ineligible, but now courts ruled that this is discriminatory against same-sex couples, essentially also ignoring any distinctions between same-sex and opposite-sex couples with regard to the biological nature of parenthood.

Protecting Sports - On October 16th, the U.S. Dept. of Education ruled that Franklin Pierce University violated Title IX by letting a male compete in women's sports. Then, on October 27th, USCCB bishop chairmen David Konderla of Tulsa and Michael Barber of Oakland sent the aforementioned letter to Congress supporting a bill to protect women's scholastic sports from male competition (S. 4649/H.R. 5702).

Update from Indy - On October 21st, in one of the cases involving a counselor let go from Roncalli Catholic High School, Lynn Starkey, the court ruled that the archdiocese is not protected by Title VII's religious exemption, saying it only applies to cases of discrimination based on religion, not "sexual orientation." (Questions about the "ministerial exception" will be adjudicated later).

Parental Victory - In a rare but encouraging back-to-back win, parents in Lee County and Martin County, Florida, successfully defeated attempts by the school boards to pass "LGBT History Month" proclamations, on October 6th and 20th respectively.

Local Town News - Kenosha, Wisconsin, passed an overbroad "conversion therapy ban" by 14 to 1 on October 5th. A day later, Green Bay moved one step closer to passage of a "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" nondiscrimination ordinance. And then that same day, Montgomery County, Maryland, unanimously passed an expansion of its "LGBTQ Bill of Rights."

Birth Certificates - It was reported in October that an Arizona appellate court ordered the state to change birth certificate forms to allow two "mothers" or two "fathers."

From Overseas - In October, France announced a three-year plan to eliminate "homophobia," even in private life, and Denmark pushed to criminalize "hate speech" against "trans" people. Belgium's new deputy prime minister, as of October 1st, became the highest ranking "transgender" official in Europe. And a big lawsuit by a mother and a nurse against England's main gender clinic for its putting children on the fast-track to medical "transition" was heard on October 8th.