.- Scotlandâs top clergyman says the Scottish executive should tread cautiously with recommendations that unmarried and same-sex couples should be given the right to adopt. âI cannot understand this view. A mass of evidence attests to the instability of unmarried relationships and the chronic instability of same-sex partnerships, yet worryingly our âexpertsâ ignore it,â Cardinal Keith OâBrien wrote in the Sunday Times - Scotland Edition.
Four years ago the Scottish executive launched a review of the adoption system, which has been experiencing a crisis. Currently, 6,500 children are in the care of government, and adoption applications have dropped from 1,000 to 400 in the last 20 years.
An expert group produced a report in June, supported by the Scottish executive, containing more than 100 recommendations and suggestions, including that unmarried and same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt.
The cardinal responded by appealing to Scotlandâs 250,000 Catholic families to consider adopting a child.
âUnmarried and same-sex relationships can reasonably be described as existing on a sliding scale of instability,â the archbishop of Edinburgh said. He cited statistics showing that the median length of unmarried relationships is three years and a study done in Sweden indicating that same-sex couples are more likely to split up than homosexual, married couples.
âIt is difficult to understand why anyone would consider placing children in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development and is gravely immoral,â he said, having referred previously to the high promiscuity in the gay lifestyle.
He also noted that Denmark, which has had same-sex civil partnerships for 16 years, does not allow same-sex couples to adopt. The same is true for France and Germany. In Sweden only a limited entitlement to adopt exists, if one of the same-sex partners is the birth parent.Children need mother and father
Children need a male and a female role model in a permanent relationship, and only marriage can provide this, the cardinal argued.
He argued research has shown that children raised by same-sex couples demonstrate a significant increase in low self-esteem, stress, confusion regarding sexual identity, increased mental illness, drug use, promiscuity, sexually transmitted infections and homosexual behavior.
The cardinal noted that Scottish document concedes: âthe studies do seem to indicate some differences in the behavior and attitudes of children raised in families headed by gays and lesbiansâ. Yet, it concludes by asserting: âThere is no strong evidence which suggests that gays and lesbians should be excluded from consideration for adoption.â
âThis is a staggeringly untenable conclusion,â the cardinal said. âIf, as the report acknowledges, the available research is inconclusive, a cautionary approach would be wise.â
âScotlandâs adopted children must not become guinea pigs in some distorted social experiment aimed at redefining marriage, subverting the family and threatening the good of society,â he said. âDenying them the benefits of a mother and a father in a committed marriage will cause great harm to a weak and vulnerable minority we should strive to protect.â
The Scottish executive has launched a public consultation, inviting responses by Oct. 31.