Adoption Discrimination IS fine – as long as it’s against Christians
A brilliant piece in today’s Telegraph:
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.
In our social club we have gay and bisexual people: they’ve had problems with their families and we’ve supported them. If they are not following a faith that says that their lifestyle is wrong, then we shouldn’t and wouldn’t condemn it. We are not homophobic and yet the social worker warned us our views would prejudice our chances of adopting.
At the end of the home assessment, the report concluded that we had too idealistic a view of family life and marriage and that this might prejudice a homosexual child: a gay child would see the way we live and feel that we wouldn’t be able to support him or her in their lifestyle. Why is it there isn’t the same concern about placing a heterosexual child with a homosexual couple who might not be able to support a heterosexual child?
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.
This is the problem – the laws that are being introduced have nothing to do with equality and everything to do with pushing forward a particular view of society that must be adhered to by all. Any opinion that dissents is rejected. I hope the Catholic Adoption societies stick by their guns and take this to the wire.
And what about Tony Blair? Well, he could do a huge amount to restore his credibility with the public by resigning over this. It’s clear that he agrees with Ruth Kelly that faith groups need some kind of exemption. So why not, for once, put his career where his mouth is. In one act he would show that he is a man of integrity, that his relationship with Jesus is more important than the rest of his career. Instead of being remembered for Iraq or for the Loans for Peerages scandal we would recall him as the Premier who resigned the highest position in the land over a matter of conscience. Now that would be a legacy worth leaving.
I am thankful to God that, when we adopted our 2 children, we did not get many questions like this. We went through an explicity Christian agency, which was a big help. However, even so, we felt we needed to “walk on eggshells” in answering some of the questions, particulary about methods of discipline.
OK, I have to ask… what’s the â€œfaeces question”?
Excellent post. I totally agree with your comments about Tony Blair.
Too many politicians these days are in it for the power and as a career. It’s time we had a few more people who enter politics to stand up for what they believe and make a difference, even if that costs them their ‘job’!
Hope you don’t mind but I copied your comment from Ian Dale’s blog onto the comment section of my own – as you’ve summed up some of what I’ve been trying to say so well.
This isn’t the first time I’ve heard that UK social services discriminate against Christians in adoption. They also (I’ve been told…) aren’t too keen on the potential adoptive parents having too much education. The issue is apparently the fear that there will be expectations put on the children, which could cause stress for the kids and disappointment for the parents. But maybe no one has told the social workers about the studies of children from underprivileged backgrounds being put in situations where more was asked of them and, lo and behold, the kids blossomed as they rose to the challenge….. No, in the world of this sort of upside down, Orwellian thinking, emphasizing good values, asking children to do their homework, and bringing them to a loving, supportive extended family (church) are all evil.
I disagree with the tenor of most of these comments – although I might add I think it’s true that there can be suspicion of Christians from time to time in adoption. My brother is training to be a social worker and some of the ideas they are fed are pretty nauseating.
Having said that, I do not agree that the RCC should be exempted for the simple reason that they *are* discriminating against people on the grounds of sexual orientation – NOT on the grounds of upholding marriage. If they witheld adoption from non-married hetero couples they would not be in any bother at all. So they are acting hypocritically since they have no biblical warrant to uphold heterosexual partnerships per se as a context for child-rearing – only marriages.
Peter, we are hearing the account of one couple in their own words. There are plenty of Christian couples who feel it is completely correct for same-sex couples to adopt and they base that belief on their Christian faith as well. The question here is not someone’s faith but heterosexism–that heterosexuallly oriented home is the ideal scenario for a child. No the best home is one with healhty and loving parents who are committed to each other and their child.
These parents come in all faiths and orientations. Not having been at the interview with these parents it is hard to know what they also left out and how their comments were said. It is one thing to share a belief, but it is quite another to harbor a prejudice. They come off very fair and balanced in their own reporting of the events, but as Solomon said, “Every man’s way looks right in his own eyes.”
A child who is queer and questioning raised in such a home could be harmed and are often harmed. No wonder the number one cause of death among queer and questioning youth in the US (and UK too perhaps) is suicide and that homelessness among queer youth is on a dramatic climb.
It is not always about an agenda being pushed. There is the welfare of children that needs to be considered in these matters. Are their social workers who are biased? Yes, there have always been, most often against queer parents and children. but also against Hindus, Muslims and Christians. But there are safety guards in place (at least in the States) where once a couple is denied the right to adopt, they can appeal (oh unless they are gay–at least in the majority of the US states).