The Christian Institute

News Release

Adoption amendments will harm children

Controversial adoption amendments sideline stability and security for children in favour of political correctness, says a Christian charity today. The Christian Institute today publishes a briefing in favour of keeping the current grounds for adoption. The briefing shows how unmarried and gay adoption will harm children. The briefing is available to download on line at

At the moment only married couples can jointly adopt children. Some 95% of all adoptions are with married couples with 5% by single people (who are also legally permitted to adopt).

The Government Adoption Law Review recommended that the law should stay as it is, but amendments have been tabled by backbench MPs which allow homosexual couples and unmarried couples to adopt children.

Gay adoption deprives children of a mother or father

  1. 84 per cent of the public are against allowing homosexual men to adopt.
  2. Only 0.2 per cent of households are same-sex couples. Allowing gay adoption is more about normalising homosexual behaviour than about increasing opportunities for adoption.
  3. Same-sex relationships are much more unstable and short-lived than heterosexual relationships.
  4. Even some researchers in favour of gay adoption admit that children raised by homosexual parents are more likely to be homosexual.
  5. Despite repeated assertions to the contrary, studies indicate significant differences between homosexual and heterosexual parenting outcomes for children. One of the largest pro-gay studies found that children raised by homosexual couples had the worst outcomes in terms of education and social adjustment. Children raised by cohabiting couples were better, but those raised by married couples had the best outcomes.
  6. Gender confusion seems to be rife with daughters of lesbian mothers.
  7. Pro-gay studies commonly ditch the most basic research methods:
  8. They fail to test any hypothesis or use a proper control group.
  9. Sample sizes are so small that no deductions can be made.
  10. One study which was headlined as “Gay men make better fathers” did not even have any children in the study but merely asked opinions.
    1. Pro-gay sociologists argue that gay adoption should go ahead despite thelack of evidence in support.
    2. Unmarried adoption denies children stability and security

      1. Most European Countries have the same law as the UK permitting only married couples and single people to adopt.
      2. Cohabiting couples have deliberately chosen to live in a relationship that gives them the complete freedom to leave that relationship. But children need to be raised within a stable, secure environment.
      3. Research shows that the average length of cohabitation is two years at which point the couple tend to marry or split up. Cohabitation is essentially a transient state.
      4. Some 60% of cohabitees go on to marry, but of those who don’t marry 83% will break up within 10 years.
      5. One of the largest family studies published in 2000 concluded that children raised by cohabiting couples were much more likely to become part of a one parent family than those raised by a married couple.
      6. The largest and most detailed British study on sexual attitudes concluded that: “… it is striking that cohabitation does not appear to exert any strong influence on monogamy”.

      In 1998 the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw MP, said that he was against gay adoption because “We should not see children as trophies”. He argued that the evidence showed marriage is the best environment in which to raise children.

      In November 2001, Health Minister Jacqui Smith, admitted: “The adoption law review, when considering this issue, concluded that joint adoption should remain limited to married couples on the grounds that adoption by a married couple was more likely to provide the stability and security that the child needed because married couples have made a joint, publicly recognised, legal commitment to each other.

      Colin Hart, Director of The Christian Institute, said today:

      “The overwhelming evidence is that unmarried and gay adoption would be bad for kids. The law should be based on what is best for children not on political correctness. The research is crystal clear: children need a male and a female role model in a permanent relationship.”

      “Many involved in social work say they support homosexual adoption, but in practice it happens very rarely. The largest study found only 3 in one year. But things will not stay this way if the Government reverses its position and supports amendments to its Adoption Bill allowing the grounds for adoption to be changed.”

      “If homosexual adoption is legalised children will suffer. I think it’s cruel deliberately to deny adopted children a mother or a father for no other reason than to support gay rights. My great fear is that the Government will ignore the evidence and cave into pressure from those who want same-sex adoption for ideological reasons. The public are not convinced. British Social Attitudes reports that 84% of the public oppose adoption by male homosexuals.”

      “Research shows that parenting by married couples produces better outcomes for children than parenting in cohabiting households. I hope that the Government will not make it legal to place children with adults who are only in a temporary relationship.”


      Note for Editors:

      In rare cases adoption by a single person can have benefits for a child who finds it difficult to relate to two carers. Such cases include children who have been abused or who have had multiple foster placements.