One of the largest and oldest Roman Catholic adoption agencies in England, Catholic Care, will stop finding parents for children in need due to the government’s new laws on homosexual adoptions.
The Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR), which were rushed through Parliament earlier this year despite opposition from many MPs and religious leaders, require adoption agencies to accept same-sex couples as prospective parents.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor had warned of the possible closure of seven Catholic adoption agencies if the regulations were passed.
According to a report in The Daily Mail, Catholic Care, which is based in Yorkshire and run by the Diocese of Leeds, became the first to pull out of the adoption business after a vote by its trustees.
In a statement, the charity said it had reviewed its work in the light of new government legislation and decided to gradually reduce its adoption activity and refocus its energy on other vulnerable groups that receive less support.
The Daily Mail also reported that Bishop Patrick O'Donoghue of Lancaster wrote to Catholic Caring Services, an adoption charity in his diocese, about his thoughts on ending its adoption program as well by December 2008.
Bishop O'Donoghue said the adoption law demands the welfare of the child should come first. Pointing to research, he said: "We know that what is best for children is to live with (heterosexual) married couples."