Child welfare agencies could be allowed to discriminate under a recent amendment to legislation pending before Congress that would threaten the rights of children in care.

The amendment would ban the federal government from withholding support from child welfare providers that refuse to provide services because of their religious or moral beliefs. The amendment would also apply to state and local governments that receive federal funding for child welfare services. It would make it much harder to stop agencies that receive federal funding from refusing to place children for adoption or foster care with lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) people, single or divorced people, people of a different faith, or anyone else they deem unacceptable based on the agency’s beliefs.