Lawsuit: Mom says State denied adoption over her Christian religion

By NW Spotlight,

An Oregon widow with five children in rural Malheur County has filed a federal lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services, saying it denied her application to adopt children because of her Christian beliefs, according to LifeNews. After Jessica Bates applied to adopt two siblings under the age of none in 2022, the department denied her application because her Christian beliefs wouldn’t let her “respect, accept, and support … the sexual orientation, gender identity, [and] gender expression” of children in her care, states a press release from the Alliance Defending Freedom, which filed the lawsuit on her behalf. According to KPTV, Oregon foster homes must support the orientation and gender identify of children, a policy that ADF Senior Counsel Jonathan Scruggs described in the press release as “an ideological litmus test” that excludes people of faith from fostering or adopting children. According to the lawsuit, a Human Services official asked Bates if she would support providing children with cross-sex hormones, an action Bates described as child abuse.

This isn’t the first lawsuit filed by Bates, an ultrasound technician whose 38-year-old husband, David, was killed in a head-on crash with a truck in January 2017. In December 2018, she filed a $400,000 wrongful death lawsuit against the Oregon Psychiatric Security Review Board and Oregon State Hospital, accusing the agencies of negligence in releasing the truck driver, Anthony Montwheeler, only a month earlier, according to the Oregonian/OregonLive. He was charged with later aggravated murder for stabbing to death his ex-wife, Annita Harmon, and then intentionally veering into the path of the Bates car, killing David.