South Dakota is the fourth state in the nation to pass a so-called religious exemption bill concerning adoption and foster care. Governor Dennis Daugaard recently signed Senate Bill 149 into law March 10.
Laurie DeSmet and her husband are adoptive parents of three. She is trying to make sense of the so-called “adoption bill” becoming law.
“I shudder to think that those children are going to spend their lives in foster care because we just eliminated a whole group of people,” Laurie DeSmet said.
The law will protect faith-based adoption agencies that refuse services based on religious beliefs. Before it becomes official, Laurie’s niece Sara is a taking a stand.
“I figured I’m going to do this. I’m going to make this and if they don’t like it. That’s their opinion,” Sara DeSmet said.
She just recently started a petition to repeal SB 149, and is hoping to rack up enough signatures to get the Governor’s attention. DeSmet is a supporter of the LGBT community and believes the new law is discriminatory.
“That’s not fair. It’s preventing them from moving forward, especially as far as they’ve come already,” Sara DeSmet said.
Along with dozens of supporters online, Laurie DeSmet and her husband are planning to join the fight.
“The state of South Dakota could come into the 21st century. They’re capable of loving children, of providing them good homes, and education, safety, things that they don’t have for whatever reason they’re in the foster care system,” Laurie DeSmet said.