Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law SB149

It’s OfficialGovernor Dennis Daugaard has signed into law SB149 – The Faith-Based Adoption Agency Protection Act!!

From our nation’s inception, religious organizations have provided invaluable social services that have lifted people out of poverty, helped them heal, restored their families, and equipped them to one day make their own contributions to society. They do so because their faith teaches them to love and serve one another.

SB149 will now help accomplish that goal by ensuring that faith-based adoption agencies and foster care providers are not penalized under state or local laws because of their beliefs. In addition to secular agencies, and 1960 Attorneys who can facilitate adoptions, South Dakota is also blessed to have several religious agencies, like Bethany Christian Services, New Horizons Adoption Agency and Catholic Social Services that have helped countless children find loving homes. SB149 will now make sure that these agencies aren’t stripped of their licenses or threatened with closure based solely on their beliefs.

It is time that South Dakota lends a helping hand to faith-based adoption agencies and foster care providers to thank them for the helping hands that they have been to South Dakota for decades.   We thank Governor Dennis Daugaard for having done just that in the signing of SB149 into law.

We would be amiss if we did not first say…To God be the Glory!!!!  

  • Psalms 107:1 –  “O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.”

Second…This was a TEAM effort!!!! 

  • We more than appreciate our Prime Sponsors in Senator Solano and Representative Haugaard who carried the day presenting the case for SB149 with a “flare of excellence”.
  • We also so appreciate the 70 Legislators who supported SB149 as it made its way through the Senate and the House.
  • Congratulations to these SD Faith-Based Adoption Agencies:  Catholic Social Services, Bethany Christian Services and the New Horizons Adoption Agency!
  • We thank Matt Sharp (Alliance Defending Freedom) and Troy Cummings (Bethany Christian Services) for crafting the precise language of SB149.
  • The lobbying team of the Family Heritage Alliance Action (FHA Action) and Concerned Women for America (CWA) made for an effective ‘Boots On The Ground’ presence at the Capitol advocating for the passage of SB149.
  • We so appreciate those South Dakotans who took the time to PRAY for this decision and those who engaged their Legislators and the Governor as well via emails and/or phone calls.  We are also grateful for the assistance of our National Organizations who came to our aid in a number of ways:  Family Policy Alliance, Focus On The Family, Alliance Defending Freedom and the Family Research Council.  It makes a difference as we are stronger and better together!
  • Finally, God Bless those children in need of loving families for they truly are the BIG WINNERS with the signing of SB149 into law!

Lastly…Please join me in thanking our Governor Dennis Daugaard for signing SB149 into law.   Simply CLICK HERE and drop him a quick e-mail of appreciation.

SB149 will become law on July 1, 2017.

Yours For Faith, Family and Freedom,




Dale Bartscher, Executive Director

Family Heritage Alliance
P.O. Box 329
Rapid City, SD  57709

OFFICE:  605-718-5433 (LIFE)
MOBILE:  605-390-7319


FHA Action is “Boots On The Ground”

Author John Maxwell rightly wrote, “Leadership is Influence”.  He’s right and by God’s grace the FHA Action’s team of lobbyists, Dale Bartscher, Norman Woods and Ed Randazzo, are endeavoring to exercise that influence.  The 92nd Legislative Session is currently considering some 436 bills and resolutions.  Follow the work of the FHA Action by regularly going to and click on ‘Legislative Radar’ to view those bills and/or resolutions we are either supporting or opposing.

SB149:  Faith-Based Adoption Agency Protection Bill

We need your HELP in the passage of SB149 an bill that ensures that faith-based adoption agencies in South Dakota are free to continue placing children and making decisions that are consistent with their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions. The bill prevents the state from coming down with a “heavy hand” on any agency because that agency follows their convictions.


TAKE ACTION NOW:  To contact your SD Senator simply click hereSB149 will likely be voted on the SD Senate floor this coming Wednesday, February 22.

An adoption agency in South Dakota that operates in accordance with their sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions is protected, in the passage of SB149, from adverse action in the following ways:

The State may not:
-Alter their tax exemption
-Financially penalize them
-Limit their ability to place children
-Alter the terms or conditions of a contract or license
-Deny a contract or license


SB149 does not:
-Allow for discrimination because of race, ethnicity, or national origin
-Allow actions otherwise deemed illegal
-Allow an agency to place a child into a dangerous situation

What Faith-Based Adoption Agency Leaders Are Saying:

“Catholic Social Services supports the Adoption Agency Protection Act because we would like to continue to offer our adoptive services to families of all faiths in a manner consistent with our long standing religious traditions as we have for over 40 years.  We know that this bill is needed because approximately five Catholic Charities nationally have had to cease offering adoption services because of changes in administrative rules or new laws at their state or city level.  Some other Catholic Charities are withdrawing from adoptive services in states as their capacity to work within their confines of their religious beliefs were challenged either by law or rules at the state level.”

– Jim Kinyon
Executive Director, West River Catholic Social Services

“New Horizons Adoption Agency, Inc. supports this bill.  Faith based agencies supply a great service to the faith-based community.  This bill allows a faith based agency to continue that service without fear of compromising the foundation of the agency or the community it serves.”

– Marlys Ubben
Executive Director, New Horizons Adoption Agency Inc.

“SB 149 is consistent with how the state of South Dakota has for decades partnered with private agencies to find homes for children.  It doesn’t restrict anyone from participating in foster care or adoption, but it does preserve for faith-based agencies the freedom to be faithful to our convictions while partnering with government agencies in supporting vulnerable children and families in crisis. We are hopeful that South Dakota lawmakers will continue to honor religious freedom and conscience as it has in the past.”

– Renee Eggebraaten
Branch Director, Bethany Christian Services of Western South Dakota

TAKE ACTION NOW:  To contact your SD Senator simply click here.  SB149 will likely be voted on the SD Senate floor this coming Wednesday, February 22.