A victory for Catholic adoption

THE decision by the High Court in England in favour of the charity Catholic Care is a victory for Catholic adoption and common sense.

Judges have overturned the charity tribunal’s ruling that the Catholic Care could not change its objects in a bid to stay true to its founding Catholic principles thus avoiding Sexual Orientation Regulations allowing gay people from using its adoption service.

Catholic Care is the last of the English Catholic adoption agencies to continue its fight against the regulations

In a ruling just posted Justice Briggs decided that the tribunal’s decision was flawed and referred the matter back to the Charity Commission for further consideration.

Many Catholic adoption services in Britain fell foul of the SOR requirements and had to end their affiliation with the Church and individual dioceses to continue their vital and often difficult work finding families for hard to place children. his decision on Catholic Care offers a glimmer of hope and suggest that finally someone is seeing sense on the issue.

There are many children out there in need of families and fewer and fewer prospective foster and adoption parents. It doesn’t make sense to hinder Catholic adoption agencies in the important work they do in such a challenging field. There is a demand  and need for Catholic adoption.

Justice Briggs said that both the commission and the tribunal had failed to regarded it as legally necessary to consider whether the public benefit of finding adoptive parents for hard-to-place children outweighed the public disbenefit of ‘discrimination’.

He concluded that the tribunal was wrong to rule that the exemption in the equality regulations applied only in cases of ‘purely private’ charitable activity where no public funding was involved.

The decision also bodes well for the work in the field of Catholic adoption that continues in Scotland protected by a ruling by the Scottish Charity Regulator. Perhaps the tide is beginning to turn.



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