(9:07 AM) Catholic Charity Group Will End Foster Care, Adoption; Cite Differences In State Law, Catholic Teaching

A Catholic charity group in Buffalo says it will end foster care and adoption services next year over state regulations that bar discrimination against same-sex couples looking to adopt or foster children.

Catholic Charities of Buffalo says it is phasing out the program because it cannot simultaneously comply with state regulations and conform to the teaching of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Charities services are under contract with the Erie County Department of Social Services until March 2019.

The charity is sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The program currently includes 55 certified foster homes. Charity officials say they are working with county and state officials to support a smooth transition.

“It is with deep sadness we acknowledge that the legacy of the high quality, exceptional services which our staff provides to children and families through foster care and adoption will be lost,” said Dennis C. Walczyk, Catholic Charities chief executive officer. “We are working with the state OCFS and Erie County DSS to support a smooth transition for children in foster care and foster parents, as well as those who have submitted applications to provide foster care or seek adoption.”

Similarly, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Boston stopped providing adoption services in March 2006 and Catholic Charities’ organizations across the state of Illinois followed with the same decision in November 2011.