‘Gay rights’ laws shut RC adoption society

Wed, 24 Jun 2009

A Roman Catholic adoption agency says it can’t go on finding homes for children because of new ‘gay rights’ laws forcing it to act against its religious ethos.

The London-based Catholic Children’s Society (Westminster), which was founded in 1859, said the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) were to blame for the move.

“We do this with deep regret but have been forced into this position,” a spokesman said.

“The trustees are convinced that what is best for children is that they be brought up by married couples. This is shown by research but it is also consonant with the teaching of the Church.

“It would be totally unacceptable for our Catholic agency to act in a way that is at odds with the teaching of the Church.”

The SORs, which outlaw discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods and services, were introduced in 2007 with no protections for religious adoption agencies.

Conservative MP Ann Widdecombe described the situation as “ludicrous”.

“It is a sign of the Britain we are in. If you do not subscribe to the prevailing orthodoxy you might as well be living in the Soviet Union.

“Catholic adoption agencies place some of the most difficult children with new families. They could find people willing to take them and now those services will not be available… all for the sake of trying to enforce a political view.”

The London agency follows the Catholic Children’s Rescue Society of Salford in pulling out of adoption services altogether.

Earlier this month Catholic Care in Leeds had its attempt to survive the new laws thrown out by the Charity Tribunal.

Despite ruling against the agency, the Tribunal recognised that Catholic Care was “a well-respected voluntary adoption agency which has made a significant contribution to the provision of adoption services in this country and facilitated many successful adoption placements”.

A spokesman for Leeds Diocese expressed fear that the decision meant charities like Catholic Care “will need to close their adoption services and a flagship service of the charities will be lost”.

Seven Roman Catholic adoption agencies have opted to become secular charities by cutting their ties with local dioceses.

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