Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) ends work with new adoptions

The Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) has decided to give up working with new adopters in the wake of new legislation which would force them to place children with same-sex couples.

In a statement they said: 'For some months the Trustees of the Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) have been deciding how to respond to the impact on our adoption services of the Sexual Orientation Regulations. After much debate and after having taken advice from several quarters the Trustees have unanimously decided that we will continue to operate our adoption support and counselling services for the many thousands of adoptions we have made over the years. We are totally committed to undertaking this work which we regard as an historical legacy that we are proud to honour. However, we will cease to assess and approve people who wish to become adopters. We do this with deep regret but have been forced into this position as a result of the Government's Sexual Orientation Regulations. These, as you may know require all adoption agencies, irrespective of the principles and beliefs they hold, such as ours on marriage, to assess any couple who apply, should they meet basic criteria, such as health, good character and stability. This would mean, if we were to continue, that we would be forced to assess same-sex couples. This would not meet our existing criterion that couples coming forward must be married as man and wife.

The Trustees are convinced that what is best for children is that they be brought up by married couples. This is shown by research but it is also consonant with the teaching of the Church. In the unanimous view of the Trustees it would be totally unacceptable for our Catholic agency to act in a way that is at odds with the teaching of the Church. We are not despondent about this decision. We have a record of achievement in adoption of which we can be proud. We also have much work to do in continuing to support existing adoption placements and there is, of course, all the other invaluable work we do in our family centres, school counselling and other therapeutic services. We are confident that we shall continue to receive generous support from the Catholic community.'

Note: A spokesperson told ICN today  that The Catholic Children's Society (Westminster) approves about 15 couples a year for adoption. They have never been approached by a same-sex couple.

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