A Catholic adoption agency has been told it cannot discriminate against gay couples in the latest outcome of an ongoing legal battle that has pitted the rights of same sex parents against religious groups who want to opt-out of anti-discrimination legislation.
Catholic Care, which serves the dioceses of Leeds, Middlesbrough, and Hallam in South Yorkshire, is the only Catholic adoption agency still fighting new rules which came in three years ago and forced adoption groups to accept parents regardless of their sexuality.
Sanity prevails, again. The winners here are the children in need of care. As the opponents of gay adoption never tire of telling us, it’s not about gay rights, it’s about the best interests of the children. This decision will ensure that decisions on placements will be based specifically on the basis of the best potential parents available for each child, and not on the basis of religious ideology.
There is no evidence that mixed sex couple make better parents than same sex couples. Even if it were true in general, for couples on average and for most children, it would not be true in every case. Many child welfare professionals, and several child care agencies, have made the point that in some specific cases, gay couples may make better parents than mixed sex couples – and the best gay couples will surely do better than the worst opposite sex couples. Imposing artificial restrictions on the complex decisions around placements simply reduces the chances of placing every child in the most suitable home.
Removing the restrictions, and refusing to re-impose them, improves the life chances of children in care.
With this ruling – children win.
who will be placed with the best parents available.