Thursday, February 01, 2007

UK Couple Rejected as Adoptive Parents Because of Christian Beliefs Regarding Homosexuality

Long before the current row over whether church-based adoption agencies should be allowed to set their own rules about accepting homosexual couples on to their books, my husband and I felt the cold breath of discrimination. It wasn't because of our sexual orientation – no, nothing as routine as that. Instead, we were found wanting because we were Christians and because we hold strong views about the importance of children having both a father and a mother.

Research endorses this model as best for children but our "idealism about family life", as the social workers called it, prevented us being able to provide a needy child with a loving home. If you are single or gay, it seems, it would be far easier to adopt.

My husband and I are a typical, professional couple who left it too late to have children. We married in 1992, when I was in my late thirties. A few years later, I miscarried. In 2000, when we were in our mid-forties, we decided that we wanted to adopt.

We contacted various adoption agencies: all of them had a waiting list of about 18 months. We didn't want to wait, so we approached our local council, which had a slightly shorter waiting list. As we were over 40, we knew we would not be eligible for a baby, so we said we would be happy to have a child up to the age of 10. The home assessment process then began, which involved regular visits by social workers over an 18-month period.

The social workers seemed to be forever trying to trip us up. They asked us how we would cope with a child who smeared faeces on the walls or trashed the house. We knew that children who had had difficult, insecure lives could be challenging and might be prone to temper tantrums, but I said surely every child wasn't that bad? We run a social club and we had some experience of people whose difficult lives had left them withdrawn and introverted. We have seen how their lives can be transformed and we believed that we could help a child to blossom similarly.

However, it wasn't just our reaction to the "faeces question" that went down badly with the social workers. We got the distinct impression that they had a real problem with our Christian faith, although our home is not overtly religious and neither are we. Would we want a child placed with us to accompany us to church? Would we put pressure on a child who didn't want to go? We said that it wouldn't be a problem because, if a child didn't want to go to church, one of us would stay at home. We do not believe that you can ram Christianity down anyone's throat; a child has to make up his or her own mind.

We were quite open in our belief that a child needs a male and a female role model. I said that a girl finds it easier to talk to another woman about periods and sex, for example, while a boy finds it easier to talk to his father.

The social workers were keen to know how we would react if a child announced that he or she was gay. We said that we believe that the same ground rules apply whether you are gay or heterosexual: that sex before marriage is wrong. We don't believe in same-sex marriages but, if a child told us he or she was gay, we would still love that child, even if we didn't agree with the lifestyle they chose.

Our home assessment report was put before the adoption panel and we were asked to explain our views. We did so, saying that they were based on our Christian faith. We later received a letter saying that we had been turned down as adoptive parents, that we were not suitable for any of the children they had to place and that we would have to reconsider our views on homosexuality...

Read the entire article at Telegraph Newspaper Online

Note: Anti-discrimination laws will be soon taking effect in the UK that will result in the closure of all Christian adoption agencies who refuse to adopt to homosexuals. Bible-believing Christians couples will apparently be unable to adopt in Great Britain.