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Does Culture Confer A Child's Right To Religion?

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An interesting law is being proposed in NJ, that concerns the right of a foster child or a child being adopted to maintain connections to their established spiritual heritage.

Read the story here: http://www.northjersey.com/community/religion/061312_Supporters_critics_debate_bill_linking_foster_care_to_religion.html?page=all then share your thoughts?

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A very sensitive topic. I don't agree, though, with adding a law that would require a match on religion in order to foster or adopt a child. Whatever happened to separation of church and state? (a very grayed line these days for sure!) I do agree that foster and adoptive parents should be aware of the child's background including culture and religion and make sure that the child gets the opportunity to follow/learn about those traditions/practices/religion. Unfortunately, where you live could restrict you on actually attending certain events if they just aren't available. In the small town I grew up in we had about every Christian church possible, but there was no Jewish Temples or Islamic Mosques, so it would have been difficult under this law to keep up with that child attending worship for those religions. Adoptions/foster care is not limited to big cities where almost all different types of religions are present, so to me this law could also alienate people living in small towns.

I also was thinking if you have to match on religion then what's next? Match on skin color and/or ethnic background to make sure that child is even closer to their heritage? I think the better answer is to try and teach the adoptive and foster parents that it is important for the child to not lose their heritage including their birth family's religion; and encourage them to gets books, movies, or attend services whenever they can so the child can learn from that. I also think a parent should try to explore more than one religion with their kids to matter if they are adopted or not and then let the child decide which route to go when they are old enough to do so.

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