Council urges homosexuals to become foster parents

Thu, 16 Jun 2011

A London council has appealed for homosexuals to help make up the shortage in foster carers in the capital.

Lambeth Council is calling for homosexual men and same-sex couples to apply to be foster parents and has urged other local authorities to follow its lead.

Yet no specific appeal was made for more heterosexual, married couples to consider fostering.

“Myth”?

Council chiefs said they wanted to dispel the “myth” that single-sex couples, especially homosexual men, are not eligible to foster.

Councillor Pete Robbins, Lambeth’s cabinet member for children and young people’s service, said: “There are many myths around who can be a foster carer, so this Fathers’ Day, we are urging single men, gay men and gay couples to come forward and find out more about fostering.

“The ability to provide a stable and loving environment for a child is the first qualification”, he said.

Difficulties

In February this year, Eunice and Owen Johns faced difficulties with their application to Derby City Council to be foster parents over their beliefs on homosexual practice.

Their case was referred to the High Court, who found that the Council had not acted unlawfully in considering the Johns’ beliefs about homosexual behaviour to be a relevant factor to their fostering application.

Commenting at the time of the Johns’ case, The Christian Institute said that it was not a general prohibition and that “local authorities are free to take on Christians as before”.

“Crucially, the judgment does not impose a ban on Christians with orthodox biblical beliefs about homosexuality (or any other matter) from fostering children.”

Shortage

Local authorities in London are currently seeking about 2,000 more foster parents and a study by the charity Fostering Network found that 98 per cent of fostering services have a shortage of families available to look after teenagers.

A Fostering Network spokesman said: “There is a real shortage of foster carers in the capital and hundreds more are urgently needed.

“We would urge anyone who has thought about it to get in touch with their local fostering service to find out more.”

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