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Catholic Adoption Agencies And British Law

One of the hot topics at the moment in adoption is the Catholic adoption agencies’ response to the British legal requirement that all adoption agencies receiving public funding accept homosexual couples as prospective parents for children waiting to be adopted. This is an extremely sensitive subject from both sides and one that is being hotly contested from both sides. In this article we look at some of the ideas from each side in order to better allow you to make an informed decision on this subject.

Firstly, British government has stated that all adoption agencies, including catholic adoption agencies, be required to accept homosexual couples as they would accept any other couple. This is part of the Equity Act which states that no person is to be treated with any discrimination.

Catholic authorities, such as Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor however are requesting that Catholic adoption agencies be exempted from this requirement to accept homosexual couples, as, according to their teachings it is wrong for them to place children with homosexual couples.

Instead of adopting the government’s requirements or going against the government, catholic adoption agencies have simply said that if forced to accept homosexual couples they will simply shut down their services. What effect would this have on the adoption situation in Britain?

In terms of overall adoptions, the adoptions covered by Catholic adoption agencies is quite low, covering only 4% of all adoptions and so may make little dent in the situation. However Catholic adoption agencies are responsible for placing a third of all children who are difficult to place and so in these situations would make a major impact.

Another issue very prevalent in these debates is human rights and discrimination, that is, the British government is trying to prevent discrimination against homosexual couples, while Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor feels that government forcing people to act against their consciences would mean discrimination on the grounds of beliefs.

Ethics and human rights have never been an easy subject to make decisions on, and here is one point where the controversies in this subject have come to a head. Do you discriminate against homosexuals or Catholics? What about the rights of the children? British government has stated that Catholic adoption agencies are going to be forced to accept homosexual couples. According to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor this may well see the closure of many catholic adoption agencies which may impact 4% of all adoptions, a relatively small figure, but take one third of all difficult to place cases and the situation may be quite different.

In conclusion, this is a very touchy subject and one with no easy answers. We trust that the information we have provided above has given you some food for thought and that before placing your judgment against either side that you will think carefully through these delicate issues.

You can also find more information at adoption brace yourself and foreign adoption.ChildAdoptionGuide.org is a comprehensive resource to help couples with the adoption process.

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