ND couple sues Catholic Charities for 'marital discrimination' after adoption falls through
FARGO—A Fargo couple is suing Catholic Charities for what they call "marital discrimination."
James and Tahnee Young decided this February they wanted to give their home and love to a teenager in the foster care system, but after finding their match their expectations took a turn for the worse.
James Young and his wife Tahnee were married this July, but someone very special was not at their wedding.
"We're getting married, we wanted to incorporate her into our marriage and our wedding," said James Young, who was turned down for adoption.
This February they decided to adopt a teenager and found their match through Catholic Charities with five months until their wedding.
They had hoped the teen would be a bridesmaid, but the paperwork never came.
"Finally, I called up the social worker and said, 'hey you know, what's the problem?'" And they were told, no we have to wait until after you're married," James said.
It was a response he wasn't expecting.
"It seems like you're discriminating against us. Then the social worker had said, well it's because we're living in sin because me and my wife, well fiance at the time were living together, and by the church's teachings you can't be living together at the time, and that's why we have to wait until after we're married," said James.
It was shortly after that confrontation the Young's received word they were no longer being considered for adoption.
"So it just broke my wife's heart and my heart. That this kid, she could be with us in a family that wants her and is fighting for her, and these people are purposely blocking this from happening. It's not right," said James.
They're now taking matters into their own hands, and are suing Catholic Charities for $6.5 million.
Catholic Charities is not going on camera, but they told us over the phone that this is pending litigation and this case has no merit.
They do have legal counsel and are not commenting at this time.
"This child wants family and me and my wife are jumping up and down. We're here, but because of their beliefs, they're blocking us," said James.
The Young's say they're fighting back for the child, in hopes this never happens to another family.
James says the child they were planning to adopt has been in and out of foster homes for nearly 10 years.