Christian couple blocked from adopting because of their belief that children need mum and dad
A Christian couple has been blocked from adopting their foster children, after expressing views based on their belief that children should have a mother and a father wherever possible.
Social services will not consider the husband and wife’s offer to adopt the children, after they aired "concerning" views about the possibility of a same-sex couple adopting the children.
The Christian couple has now asked the local council to review the decision, which it says appears discriminatory.
They are being supported by the Christian Legal Centre.
Couple received glowing reports
The couple has been providing foster care for the two young children since the beginning of this year.
Reports from social workers praised them for their "lovely care", and stated that they "worked well with all professionals".
The couple, who already have two adopted children, had expressed interest in adopting the foster children on a number of occasions.
'Against our conscience'
As Christians, the foster parents believe that placing a child with a mother and a father, whenever possible, is in the child’s best interests.
Last month, the foster parents expressed concern when a social worker told them that a same-sex couple were being considered as adopters of the children.
The husband explains: "We did express a degree of shock and asked if this was a 'joke'. The social worker then became upset that we did not endorse views that went against our conscience, and they became concerned about our motives."
The parents told the council that it would be difficult to explain the proposed plans to one of the foster children, as the child is waiting for a new "mummy".
'Best option' for the children
The couple then offered to become the children’s adoptive parents, arguing that this would be the "best option for them and their emotional well-being".
They said that they were both "highly educated people", with a "very mature and stable relationship with each other, and a great parental relationship" with their other children.
They also argued that a move to a new family would put the two children under "emotional stress", and separation from the foster parents would be "very harmful and destructive to them".
But the council denied their request, claiming that their views could be "detrimental to the long-term needs of the children."
'We love everyone and we love the children'
In a letter to the council last week, requesting that they review the decision, the foster parents argued:
"We are Christians and we expressed the view that a child needs a mother and a father. We expressed our views in modest, temperate terms based on our Christian convictions. We love everyone (regardless of sexual orientation) and we love the children and believe that they would benefit from the foundation offered by a mother and a father.
"The decision appears discriminatory to us and not related to the children’s needs. The children love us: we love them. All the reports show that we are a loving, caring and stable family. What more could a child need?"
'Lawful and mainstream'
Commenting on the case, Chief Executive of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Williams, said:
"This couple's viewpoint is lawful and mainstream. The expression of a view that a child needs a mother and a father cannot justify a refusal to even consider a married couple’s application to adopt. The separation of this couple from the children at this time is unthinkable."
She also highlighted the couple’s situation as another example of equality legislation being used to marginalise Christians.
"We warned Parliament that the so-called equality developments would damage freedom for Christians to live and speak out their faith – and engage fully with social needs in the nation," she said.
"This is another in a long line of examples of the results of this ill-thought-through legislation, resulting in the potential heart-breaking separation of young children from the foster parents in whose care they are thriving, and where they feel love and security."
The couple are being represented by Standing Counsel to the Christian Legal Centre, Paul Diamond.
Adoption banned in 'gay parents' row (Times £)
Christian couple refuse to give foster children to gay parents (Independent)
Christian couple barred from adopting after 'gay parents' row (Christian Today)