A Roman Catholic mother is taking legal advice after Brighton and Hove Council arranged to place her ten-year-old son with a gay foster couple.
The little boy was placed in care after his mother had a mental breakdown, the result of an abusive marriage, and was left unable to care for him.
He is to arrive today at his new home, where he will be living with a middle-aged gay couple who run a hotel in Brighton.
His mother has not commented on the situation directly, but a Roman Catholic charity, the Thomas More Legal Centre, is providing her with advice.
Neil Addison, the group’s director, said: “We are advising her on her legal options and seeking to resolve the matter with the council by agreement.”
One of the mother’s fellow parishioners added: “Both are Catholic. She is a committed Catholic, he has been baptised a Catholic and brought up by his mother as one.
“She knows she is unwell and cannot cope with looking after him. All she wants is for him to be raised in a regular family atmosphere, by a man and a woman.
“She would prefer a Catholic couple, but if that is not possible, at least a heterosexual one. But social services have given her no choice. She cannot understand how he can be looked after by two men she’s never met.
“Her belief is that they could encourage him into a lifestyle that is against her religious beliefs.
“The other day he asked her, ‘Mummy, are you lesbian or gay?’ She had to tell him she was neither.”
A leading Roman Catholic lawyer, who asked not to be named, told one newspaper: “I have to ask, would a local authority put a ten-year-old atheist child into a devoutly Catholic home? I think not.
“Or would it place a ten-year-old hijab-wearing devout Muslim girl with two gay men? Again, I think not.”
The lawyer added: “This local authority is clearly not taking account of this child’s cultural and religious identity, which it is obliged to do legally.”
Brighton and Hove Council insists that the foster carers are experienced and fully qualified. It has refused to comment on the decision to place the child with a same-sex couple despite his mother’s wishes.
The same council was at the centre of a legal row last year when it pulled funding from a care home which refused to ask its elderly Christian residents about their sexual orientation every three months.
It has one of the highest rates of gay fostering and adoption in Britain.
This is the latest in a series of cases where local authorities have placed children with same-sex couples as adoptive or foster parents against the wishes of the children’s families.
It was reported in April that a family in Somerset were attempting to block the adoption of their two young boys by a homosexual couple, a plan which they said went against the family’s “Christian values”.
The placement had gone ahead despite offers from the mother’s married brother and her parents to give a home to the children.
In Edinburgh two grandparents were told that at 46 and 59 they were too old to adopt their four and five-year-old grandchildren.
When they objected to Edinburgh County Council’s decision to give the children to a gay couple, they were told to drop their opposition or be cut off from the children completely.