“Absurd and unsubstantiated” is how the new Chief Executive of Barnardo’s has described any resistance to homosexual adoption.
Miss Anne Marie Carrie has hit out at those who say children do best when raised by a man and a woman.
And she believes such views are actually harmful to the welfare of children and must be “challenged.”
Miss Carrie’s comments come in the wake of a survey conducted by Barnardo’s, in which nearly a third of the public said they believed heterosexual couples made better parents than same-sex couples.
The charity chief responded, “The idea that gay parents are second best must be challenged.
“To suggest that a same sex couple is not as able to raise a child as a heterosexual couple is at once absurd and unsubstantiated”, she added.
The first Barnardo’s Home was set up in 1870 by Thomas Barnardo, an evangelical Christian, who alleviated the poverty of thousands of children on London’s streets.
By the time of his death in 1905, he had housed, clothed, trained and guided over 60,000 of London’s poorest orphans.
But over the years, Barnardo’s has distanced itself from its Christian origins.
In 2004, the charity came first in the British Diversity Awards and, reflecting on this in 2007, former CEO Sir Roger Singleton said he was proud of changing Barnardo’s religious culture to a more modern, secular one.
“Barnardo’s was founded by a zealous Christian evangelical”, he said. “We had to reconcile the fact that we had our roots in a certain fervent brand of Christianity, with the wish to be a good employer.
“To be able to work with all faiths and backgrounds, we needed to attract people who came from them”, he added.
The Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) introduced in 2007 have led to the widespread closure of faith-based adoption agencies.
The last remaining RC adoption agency, Catholic Care, is embroiled in a High Court battle for the right to retain its religious ethos.
In 2009, middle aged grandparents who wanted to adopt their grandchildren were told by Edinburgh City Council that, at 46 and 59, they were too old.
It also emerged that the couple had objected to their young grandchildren being adopted by a gay couple and were subsequently banned from seeing them until they dropped their opposition.
In a separate case in April that year, the Somerset mother of two young boys had pleaded with the authorities to let her sons be adopted by her parents or married brother rather than go to a same-sex couple. “Social workers just dumped the truth on me,” she said.
Experienced foster carers Vincent and Pauline Matherick, a Christian couple who were also from Somerset, had an eleven-year-old boy removed from their care when they refused to sign an equality and diversity agreement which endorsed homosexuality.
And another foster couple, Eunice and Owen Johns, were told they could not continue to foster children unless they agreed to promote a similar equality and diversity agenda.
Politicians, disability groups and familty campaigners were shocked in 2009 when the leading Government-funded adoption charity the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) described people who opposed same-sex adoption as “retarded homophobes”.