|A couple of lines from the guardian article that didn't quite sit right with me....|
(following on from the 4% thing)...But they found homes for around a third of the "difficult-to-place" children. Ms Kelly argues it is these children that would suffer if Catholic couples were no longer encouraged to adopt by church-run agencies.
Is it just me, or does the change in the law have no direct bearing on whether catholic couples are urged to adopt? Or does this implicitly imply that catholic agencies encourage catholic couples more than they do non-catholics?
Then one from the Williams/Sentamu letter in the times:
The rights of conscience cannot be made subject to legislation, however well meaning.” They draw a comparison with doctors working for the NHS, who are entitled to opt out of performing abortions if it goes against their conscience.
Yes, but the doctors who opt out aren't a good comparison are they? In adoption it's the interest of the children that is at stake, not that of the parent. If the agency was allowed to opt-out by handing control of the child in question to another secular agency this might be a better comparison. But as far as I'm aware that is hardly the case.
I can sort of understand the basis behind the churches' fears, each has their doctrines after all. However doctrines have changed over the years, scripture has been interpreted and reinterpreted. And I suspect that even if these churches were proved right, and that heterosexual couples did make statistically 'better' parents (something that is obviously as yet untested), then a loving same sex couple would surely still be a pretty good deal compared to remaining in care?
Gay campaigners argue, however, that gay parents are themselves more likely to adopt the most vulnerable children and nothing should be done to bar them from the system.
I found this point slightly galling, suggesting as it does that 'gay couples just care more'. Surely it depends on the individuals in question, no? Does anyone know where i can see some actual figures? I haven't been able to find any hard facts on the matter, but I have found plenty of claims from both sides of the debate on matters such as athe longevity and stability of heterosexual vs homosexual couples etc.
Some interesting/interestingly-outdated points in the adoption debate from 2002.
[Lady O'Cathain] claimed the pool of parents will widen due to other reforms in the adoption bill. She said at present: "Over 90% of would-be adopters gave up or were turned down as the process lasted too long. Adopters were told you are too poor, too fat, you live in too big a house or go to the church.[...]
[...]She also opposed co-habiting opposite sex couples from adopting. She said: "If a cohabiting couple wish to adopt and make a permanent long standing commitment to the child, why not make a long term permanent commitment to one another?" Lord Elton, from the Conservative front bench said: "The average length of a cohabiting relationship is two years. Cohabiting couples are six more times likely to split up than married couples". He added: "If we think unmarried hetrosexual couples are a poor bet, then gay relationships are even less stable. Why should parliament consciously and deliberately allow some of our most vulnerable children to be adopted by couples whose relationships are more likely to fall apart than married couples?"
The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Rev Michael Scott-Joynt, said that to leave the bill as it was amended by MPs would be to undermine marriage. He said he opposed "the committing of children to a relationship for life to couples who have not committed themselves in public and law until death us do part".
Funny how civil partnerships failed to change anyone's mind....