Foundation Sues Virginia AG Mark Herring, Challenges New Virginia Statute

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE//October 28, 2021//Richmond, VA — The Parental Rights Foundation, on behalf of a Virginia family, today sued Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring, challenging a new Virginia statute that says parents may not consider religion when hiring a babysitter.

Jane and Scott adopted their daughter, M.W., in 2015. Because M.W. has medical conditions, the couple has hired babysitters to help with her care for several hours each week, helping her get ready for school, driving her to and from school, and supervising her after school.

It is important to this family that the babysitters they hire share and support their beliefs as Christians. “We are Christians and are looking for a likeminded caregiver,” they said regularly in advertisements for the position.

The Virginia Human Rights Act did not apply to babysitters until it was amended earlier this year. Not only does it now forbid taking religion into account when hiring a babysitter, it also prohibits parents from including this preference in their advertisements. 

“Virginia has taken the phrase ‘nanny state’ to an absurd extreme,” said James R. Mason, president of the Parental Rights Foundation. “Virginia has no legitimate interest in telling parents who to hire to babysit their children.”

On behalf of Jane and Scott’s family, Parental Rights Foundation is asking the Circuit Court in Richmond to declare the amended Human Rights Act to be in violation of the Virginia Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

The Parental Rights Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2014, works to educate policymakers and the general public in order to raise awareness of parental rights. 

To learn more about passage of the amended Human Rights Act, visit the Virginia Legislative Information System

Please direct any media inquiries to Michael Ramey:; 540-751-1247.