Vermont Parents Punished by Foster System for Refusing Radical Gender Ideology for Kids

Vermont Parents Punished by Foster System for Refusing Radical Gender Ideology for Kids

Montpelier, VT — The Center for American Liberty sent a demand letter to the Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) for its unlawful and retaliatory actions against Melinda Antonucci and Casey Mathieu, dedicated foster parents from Vermont. The DCF threatened to revoke Melinda and Casey’s foster care license after they refused to agree to give kids “gender-affirming care.”  

See the demand letter, Petition (Exhibit D) and other exhibits here. 

“Melinda and Casey are compassionate parents who want to provide a loving home to children in need,” CEO and Founder of the Center for American Liberty Harmeet Dhillon said. “The government has no right to punish them for their beliefs or compel them to express a specific ideology. This case is about more than just one family; it’s about protecting Vermont’s kids and safeguarding the fundamental freedoms of all Americans.” 

“DCF has made it clear that in order to provide foster care, parents must be willing to support gender affirming care to kids living under their roof.  We decided to become foster parents to take care of children, not hurt them.  By sending this letter to the Department, we want to make sure other parents in Vermont know that the state is pushing a political agenda instead of helping our state’s most vulnerable children. They are disqualifying foster families based on DCF’s own gender ideology at a time when there is a critical need for foster parents in Vermont,” Melinda and Casey said. 

Melinda and Casey, committed to fostering children as an expression of their Christian faith, were licensed by the DCF in January of this year. However, they faced undue scrutiny and threats of license revocation due to their hesitation about facilitating certain medical procedures, like cross-sex hormones and double mastectomies, for kids struggling with gender identity. Despite their willingness to foster LGBTQ+ children, DCF pressured them to adhere to a specific ideological stance. 

The situation escalated when Melinda publicly supported a Petition advocating for parental rights in the Essex Westford School District. In response, DCF questioned their capabilities as foster parents based solely on this protected speech, violating their First Amendment rights. 

The Center for American Liberty demands that the DCF: 

  1. Cease any plans to revoke Melinda and Casey’s foster care license based on their views. 
  2. Stop any discriminatory actions against them. 
  3. Provide written confirmation that their license will not be revoked due to their protected speech and religious beliefs. 
  4. Clarify that foster parents are not required to adhere to the Department’s preferred treatment plans for transgender-identifying children. 

Failure to comply may result in legal action to protect Melinda and Casey’s constitutional rights. 

To schedule an interview with the legal team please contact Daytona Everett at 

Vermont Parents Punished by Foster System for Refusing Radical Gender Ideology for Kids