Catholic charity seeks to block same-sex couples from its adoption service

There was a news report in the paper earlier this week about a Catholic adoption agency that was seeking to deny its services to same-sex couples. Catholic Care is asking the judge, sitting in the Upper Tribunal in London to sanction a change to its charitable objectives so that it can lawfully turn away same-sex couple as prospective adopters. However, lawyers for the Charity Commission argue that drawing a distinction between gay and heterosexual couple would amount to a breach of the Equality Act 2011 and a violation of the ban on discrimination contained in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Now I appreciate this a very sensitive issue, and there will no doubt be entrenched positions being taken on all sides. It’s not the first time – and certainly not the last – that Christian traditions and beliefs have come into conflict with the minutiae of equality and human rights laws. According to a spokesperson from Catholic Care, the consequence of the court finding against it will be a cessation of its services to both gay and heterosexual couples. 
I want to make clear that, personally, I have no issue with the Catholic Church or it’s traditions and beliefs. I am neither for or against same-sex couples adopting children; the key criteria for me is that the child’s interests and welfare is put first and foremost. If the appropriate experts believe that a child would be better off in a safe and loving home than remaining indefinitely in the care of the local authority, then any consideration about same-sex or heterosexual couples becomes irrelevant.
I do feel quite strongly in this case that the Charity Commission’s focus on the rights of same-sex couples, rather than the children in need of adoption, is tantamount to putting the interests of the helper before those of the helpless. 
I wonder what Jesus would think if He was here today?

2 thoughts on “Catholic charity seeks to block same-sex couples from its adoption service

  1. An interesting post as always Steve.I personally feel that if it’s possible for a child to be placed in a loving home, they should be. If that home was made unavailable purely because of the orientation of those offering their love and support then that is a great shame. Whom does the alternative best serve? Certainly not the child. As you suggest, this might well be a case of people putting their own agendas ahead of the welfare of children in their care.What worries me most is that whenever we hear of a story like this, behind it all is an unspoken concern that children need to somehow be protected from contact with same-sex couples; that there’s an unspoken concern for the development of the child if placed in the care of a same-sex couple before the child’s development is at an end. What does that tell us about heterosexual society’s relationship with lesbian and gay people?If people in society continue to harbour those kinds of opinions, consciouslyly or otherwise, then we will never reach true equality and children in need of love, support and (so importantly!) stability will face a longer wait than they need to.While I sincerly appreciate that this is a difficult area of discussion for many, we have to accept that if we want to live in a fair and equal society we *have* to genuinely be fair and equal and not just *say* that we are.Great topic for discussion – I don’t think I’ve ever taken this long over posting a comment online! 🙂

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  2. Hi Alasdairmany thanks for the comments, all well made and I’m in 100% agreement! I need to follow-up on what happened re the adjudication for the case I cited – Catholic Care. I’ve not had my eye on the ball these past couple of weeks with other concerns. 🙂

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