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Catholic Care goes back to court over gay adoption

Rolls Building, Royal Courts of Justice
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Catholic Care goes back to court over gay adoption7

Governance | Tania Mason | 12 Sep 2012

Catholic Care’s latest appeal in its ongoing campaign to be allowed to prevent gay couples from using its adoption services, began before the Upper Tribunal today.

Mr Justice Sales is hearing the two-day appeal at the Rolls Building in London (pictured).  It is the eighth stage of the case, which began in May 2009 when Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) went to the Charity Tribunal to challenge the Charity Commission’s refusal to allow it to change its objects to discriminate against same-sex couples. The Charity Tribunal upheld the Charity Commission’s decision.

When the Upper Tribunal, in September last year, granted leave to appeal the most recent judgment, permitting today’s hearing to proceed, it told Catholic Care’s lawyers in writing that it believed “the appellant has a real prospect of success in establishing that the First-Tier Tribunal (Charity) had erred in law in one of three ways”.

The charity says it has given careful consideration to the cost of pursuing the case but claims that if it is forced to allow same-sex couples to adopt its child beneficiaries, it will lose so much donor support that it will be unable to continue providing the service at all.

It won’t say how much the case has cost so far but admits it has been funded by donations, a legacy and a grant from a US foundation which supports legal actions for Catholic beliefs, with the charity making up the difference.

Rachel Allen
16 Sep 2012

I don't believe that it is in a child's best interests to be raised by hetrosexual parents. The key to a child's happiness is not in their parents sexuality but in stability, nurturing, safety and attention. You can't guarantee a child will receive these needs purely because of the parents sexuality. Couples who are commited to being supportive, loving parents should have the opportunity to raise a child, regardless of their sexual preferences.

SB
14 Sep 2012

From my actual experiences in a two parent heterosexual father and mother family I have no doubt that a child's best interest is served by being parented by a loving committed family who can support and nurture the child irrespective of the gender of the two parents. I am constantly suprised that despite so much evidence of the many dysfunctional heterosexual families bringing up children so many people insist on maintaining the fantasy that the heterosexual nuclear family is the only and best way to bring up children.

Christopher Whitmey
14 Sep 2012
Response to [SB]

From personal obseravtion I accept SB's point that there are dysfunctional heterosexual families. I would expect under the realities of human failings there also to be dysfunctional homosexual families. Before accepting my view is a fantasy I would wish see some objective research into the matter.

Ben
19 Sep 2012
Response to [Christopher Whitmey]

Sorry, objective research into what matter specifically? Three's bucketloads of evidence about the amount of dysfunctional heterosexual families, let alone your average streetcorner/bus-stop/fill-in-name-of-place-where-bad-parenting occurs.

To obtain accurate and comparable data on homosexual families, we're going to have to allow a lot more homosexual adoptions through. Once that has happened we can start a comparison - until then, you'll have to take our word it that homosexual couples are just as capable of bringing up a child in a loving and wholesome relationship.

Christopher Whitmey
14 Sep 2012

Prof. Morgan says, "The vast majority of Catholics ... in my experience". I don't know of any polls on same-sex couples adoption. However the polls about same-sex marriage give a different picture. http://tinyurl.com/ICMsamesexpoll http://tinyurl.com/ComRespoll http://tinyurl.com/YouGovSndyTimes

I agree that "the fundamental issue is the child's best interests". In World War II my father was called up. I saw very little of him. I was in a form of single parent family. Thankfully my father safely returned from the war unscathed. From my actual experience I have no doubt in my mind, despite the valiant job my mother did, that a child's best interests is to have a heterosexual mother and father if at all possible.

Gareth Morgan
Professor of Charity Studies
Sheffield Hallam University
12 Sep 2012

From my role as a specialist in charity regulation I am glad this case is going so far because it is clarifying some important legal issues concerning a charity wanting to change it objects to make them narrower.

But speaking personally as a Catholic Christian I am exasperated at the line Catholic Care (Leeds) is taking. The vast majority of Catholics do not, in my experience, have problems with same sex couples, and when it comes to adoption, the fundamental issue is the child's best interests. No one is asking Catholic Care to consider same sex couples as adoptive parents except in relation to that context.

So I think the central argument that the charity will lose donations if it doesn't change its objects to exclude same sex adoptions is a bit implausible. On the contrary I think most Catholics will be very cautious about supporting a charity with such a narrow interpretation of Catholic social responsibility.

Carl Allen
15 Sep 2012
Response to [Gareth Morgan]

Equally, would they feel happy supporting a Catholic charity going well beyond their personal religous beliefs?

Or would they be happy supporting a non-Catholic charity delivering the same service?

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