Ruling could force RC adoption agency closure

The last remaining Roman Catholic adoption agency in England and Wales is facing the prospect of closure after losing the latest round in its battle to protect its religious ethos.

Of the eleven Roman Catholic adoption agencies operating in 2007, Catholic Care is the only one which hasn’t yet closed down or ditched its religious ethos because of Labour’s sexual orientation regulations.

The Leeds-based charity had argued that it was entitled to change its “charitable objects” so that it could continue to place children with only married, heterosexual couples.


But now the Charity Commission has rejected Catholic Care’s case and told it to either close down its adoption service or alter its stance on same-sex adoption.

The Commission also claimed that Catholic Care’s religious views didn’t justify their refusal to place children with homosexual couples.

And while the Commission acknowledged that Catholic Care provided a “valuable, high quality adoption service”, it also claimed that the agency hadn’t shown “sufficiently convincing and weighty reasons” for its stance.


The decision is the latest development in a long running legal battle to protect the agency’s religious liberty.

It follows a High Court ruling earlier this year which ordered the Charity Commission to review Catholic Care’s position.

A spokesman for the adoption agency, which has been praised for its success in finding homes for vulnerable children, said: “The charity is very disappointed with the outcome.

“Catholic Care will now consider whether there is any other way in which the charity can continue to support families seeking to adopt children in need.

“In any event, Catholic Care will seek to register as an adoption support agency offering a service to those who were adopted in the past and are now seeking information about their background, and also to support adoptive parents already approved by Catholic Care.”


Andrew Hind, Chief Executive of the Charity Commission, said: “In certain circumstances, it is not against the law for charities to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.

“However, because the prohibition on such discrimination is a fundamental principle of human rights law, such discrimination can only be permitted in the most compelling circumstances.

“We have concluded that in this case the reasons Catholic Care have set out do not justify their wish to discriminate.”


The requirement for Roman Catholic adoption agencies either to ditch their religious ethos or face closure has previously faced criticism from homosexuals.

Homosexual journalist Andrew Pierce, who was cared for by a Roman Catholic adoption agency, has voiced his support for them.

Catholic Care also provides residential care for children, support for adults with learning difficulties and mental health problems and school counselling.


The ruling comes amidst increasing concern among many Christians that their rights and liberties are often trampled on by homosexual ‘rights’.

Earlier this year it was revealed that two Christian B&B owners who wouldn’t give a double bed to a homosexual couple were set to face legal action.

Mike and Susanne Wilkinson, who run the Swiss B&B in Berkshire, turned the same-sex couple away because it was against their convictions to let them share a double room in their home.


The Wilkinsons would have offered the couple separate single rooms, but were unable to do so as the guesthouse was fully booked.

Their case is similar to that of Christian B&B owners from Cornwall who are currently being sued over the same issue.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull have had a policy of only offering married couples double rooms since they bought the guesthouse in 1986.

The couple are being sued for refusing to allow a homosexual couple to stay in a double room.