Lutheran Group Denies Gay Adoption

By Advocate Contributors

Originally published on Advocate.com November 09 2010 1:55 PM ET

A Lutheran family services group has denied a Chicago gay
couple's recent attempts to adopt a local homeless youth on the groundsthat the couple is gay , according to Fox Chicago News.

After
living together for seven years and getting legally married in Canada,
Fred Steinhauer and Matt Nalett, residents of the city's Lakeview neighborhood, made the decision to
expand their family when Nalett began working with teenagers at a local
organization for runaways.

It was while volunteering that Nalett
met a 15-year-old boy who had been a ward of the state for seven years
after being taken from his biological family because of unfit living
conditions. The boy — who identifies as gay — eventually fled his most
recent group home to escape the bullying he was subjected to by other
residents.

In spite of successful background checks, home
inspections, and meetings with the runaway youth's therapist and
caseworker, Steinhauer and Nalett's adoption efforts came to a
screeching halt when an orientation instructor handed them a policy
statement outlining Lutheran Child and Family Services' refusal to "develop
or license adoptive or foster care families who identify themselves as
gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning."

The Illinois
Department of Children and Family Services defends the Lutheran group's
right as a religious-based adoption agency to disregard the
antidiscrimination laws with which other agencies are legally compelled
to comply.

Lutheran Child and Family Services received $19.9 million in state funding in the 2010 fiscal year alone.