Catholic agency to continue adoption referrals for same-sex couples

.- Catholic Charities of San Francisco announced this week that it would end its work as a full adoption agency – yet still offer referral services – after a disclosure last fall that it had placed some children with same-sex couples.

The agency’s decision comes five months after Boston's Catholic Charities decided to close its adoption services entirely due to similar circumstances. Both regional agencies were told to conform to Church teachings, which forbid adoption by same-sex couples, and to pull out of the adoption business entirely.

But San Francisco's Catholic Charities decided that it would not pull out of adoption entirely. While it has stopped direct placements, it will continue to help prospective adoptive parents, including same-sex couples, with information and referral help through an alliance with another organization.

Catholic Charities of San Francisco said it decided to assign three staff members to work with California Kids Connection, a nonprofit statewide organization that compiles an Internet database of children available for adoption and assists with adoption referrals.

If that work ultimately leads to a match between a gay parent and a foster child, that is fine, said Brian Cahill, executive director of Catholic Charities of San Francisco.

“God loves them all,” he told the Boston Globe.

Cahill said his understanding of Church teachings is that a Catholic agency cannot be "directly involved” in the placement of a child in a same-sex household.

Archbishop George Niederauer of San Francisco said he thought the new arrangement was a form of potential “remote” cooperation that does not conflict with Catholic moral teaching, reported the newspaper.

He told the Globe that he consulted his predecessor, Cardinal William Levada, on the plan. Cardinal Levada is now the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.