Press Release

BREAKING: Foster families take Michigan’s AG to court  Press call at 3:30 p.m. EST to discuss new case against Michigan’s attempt to keep children from loving homes 

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON – Melissa Buck, mother of five children with special needs, along with one of the area’s most successful adoption agencies are back in court today to fight the Attorney General of Michigan’s attempt to shut down the faith-based agency that brought their families together. In this new case, Buck v. Gordon, the foster families are now suing Michigan and federal Health & Human Services to allow faith-based adoption agencies to continue what they do best: uniting children with loving families. 

When the ACLU sued the State of Michigan in 2017 to stop working with faith-based foster and adoption agencies, Becket defended several foster children, families and St. Vincent Catholic Charities to maintain this vital partnership. However, last month the Attorney General of Michigan and the ACLU signed a settlement agreement to try to stop the state from working with faith-based adoption agencies like St. Vincent simply because of their religious beliefs. Today, Becket filed a new lawsuit defending St. Vincent and foster families in federal court.  

The following statement can be attributed to Melissa Buck, a mother of five children with special needs adopted through St. Vincent: 

My five children have a home and a future today thanks to St. Vincent, and my husband and I still rely on St. Vincent’s vital support in every step of our journey together as a family. We are hopeful that the courts will step in, do the right thing and allow faith-based agencies to continue to help vulnerable families like mine.” 

The following statement can be attributed to Mark Rienzi, president at Becket, which represents St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Melissa Buck and her family in this case: 

Faith-based agencies like St. Vincent consistently do the best work because of their faith, and we need more agencies like them helping children—not fewer. The actions by the Attorney General of Michigan do nothing but harm the thousands of at-risk children in desperate need of loving homes.” 

Becket attorneys will hold a press call at 3:30 p.m. EST today at 646-876-9923 (pin: 930-944-5568to discuss the new case. Email questions in advance to: 

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, contact Ryan Colby at  or 202-349-7219.  Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. 


Becket is a non-profit, public-interest law firm dedicated to protecting the free expression of all religious traditions and has a 100% win-rate before the United States  Supreme Court.  For over 20 years, it has successfully defended clients of all faiths, including Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Native Americans, Sikhs, and Zoroastrians  (read more here).