I’m grateful to have been one of the thousands placed with loving families through Roman Catholic adoption agencies, actor John Thomson has said.
Mr Thomson, who shot to fame in the 1990s TV series Cold Feet, said he was made to “feel special” by the family who chose him when he was put up for adoption as a baby in 1969.
His story has been highlighted by the Daily Mail in the wake of a High Court ruling, which gave England’s last remaining Roman Catholic adoption agency a lifeline over laws which could force it to consider homosexuals as parents.
“These agencies are needed”, Mr Thomson said.
“If you don’t get adopted you’re in care until you’re 18 and you miss out on the love that I received”.
He said: “My adoptive parents said they had chosen me and I was made to feel special.”
Mr Thomson, who is currently acting in Coronation Street, was given up for adoption by his mother shortly after his birth in Manchester in 1969.
He was placed with adoptive parents, Andrew and Marita Thomson, by the locally-based Catholic Children’s Rescue Society.
The actor said: “I realised how grateful I was to have been put with such a lovely family and to have had a good upbringing.”
The society, which was run by the Diocese of Salford, could no longer place children with adoptive parents from 2008 after Government regulations said it had to consider same-sex couples.
Mr Thomson has made regular appearances in support of the agency and warned that closing the service would be a “disaster”.
Last week, England’s last remaining Roman Catholic adoption agency, Catholic Care, was battling for its life because its policy of not placing children with unmarried couples may breach Labour’s homosexual equality laws.
The Leeds-based agency was given a glimmer of hope by the High Court but it still needs to argue with the Charity Commission for the liberty to act according to its religious ethos.
The case centres around Labour’s Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) which were controversially introduced in 2007.
SORs outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in the provision of goods or services.
Of the eleven Roman Catholic agencies operating in England and Wales in 2007, all but Catholic Care have had to either close down or ditch their religious ethos because of the SORs.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Leeds, Rt Revd Arthur Roche, said: “Catholic Care has been providing specialist adoption services for over 100 years.
“We have helped hundreds of children through the recruitment, assessment, training and support for prospective adoptive parents, as well as offering ongoing and post-adoption support to families that give such security and love for some of the most vulnerable children in our society.”