can an agency actually do this?

My husband and I got a letter in the mail for the adoption agency we were planning on using informing us that we have to provide "spiritual references" because they require their families to have strong religious ties and they want to evaluate our church. The big issue is that we're agnostic. Can adoption agencies refuse to work with you based on religion?
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Re: can an agency actually do this?

  • A private company can make rules such as this, yes.

  • Yes, if they are a religious agency, they can and there is nothing you can do...
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  • We went thru a religious agency and had to provide a spiritual reference. I don't believe they evaluated our church though. I even think the reference could have came from anyone in our church, however we met with our priest directly and had him send in our reference.
  • Yes if it's a religious agency. However, you should have been informed of that, I'd hope, before you paid to be part of their program. If that wasn't made clear to you upfront and you've paid fees, I'd argue for them back.
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  • As everyone above has said, yes they can do that. I also agree with @maryoosa, if this wasn't made known to you before you paid, then you need to get your money back. Our agency is a religion based agency and they asked for a Pastoral Reference. They didn't evaluate the church or anything like that.

    January 2014--Picked Agency, had informational Meeting and turned in Application
    June      2014--Started our Home Study (all paperwork &fingerprinting that ensued)
    August  2014--Finished our Home Study and Officially Waiting

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  • Yes :( they can but you should have been made aware of this in the application process so if you weren't I would suggest asking for your money back.  We did not work with an agency because of this exactly.  A lot of them are somewhat religion based but do not require a faith reference.

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