A social worker who advised a couple against baptising their baby on the grounds it would hinder the baby’s chances of being adopted has been criticised by a family court judge.
Judge Richard Scarratt said the comment was “regrettable” and called on Kent County Council to launch an inquiry into the incident.
Kent County Council apologised to the couple but the judge found the apology to be “too late and inadequate”.
The couple had wanted to baptise their child, but the social worker discouraged them, claiming it would reduce the pool of prospective adoptive parents.
Social services had originally decided that the 15-month-old boy should be adopted, but agreed he could live with a relative instead. Judge Scarratt approved the move.
The judge also criticised the social worker for failing to make enough visits to the parents at home when making assessments.
The Christian Institute’s Simon Calvert said: “The idea that associating a child with the Christian faith would somehow make him harder to adopt is so far from reality it is hard to believe any social worker would say it.”
Speaking about the wider issue of Christian adoption, Mr Calvert said: “Children looking for an adoptive family sometimes identify themselves as Christian and ask to be placed with a family that shares their faith.
“These children need understanding. No one should make them feel under pressure to hide or deny their faith in order to be adopted.”
He added: “We know there are some officials who harbour their own deep-seated hostility towards Christians and Christianity but it is shocking that this person felt at liberty to express that hostility in her professional capacity.”