Marriage and the Family

Colorado bishops voice opposition to adoption bill

.- Colorado’s Catholic bishops expressed their opposition to a bill that would allow the live-in partner of a single parent — either same-sex or heterosexual — to become the second legal parent of a child, without the customary legal review process required in ordinary adoptions.

House Bill 1330, presented in the state legislature on March 6, would allow same-sex couples to adopt children in Colorado. Currently, homosexual individuals are allowed to adopt a child in Colorado, but same-sex couples are not.

The law would also allow a single parent’s heterosexual partner to adopt the child.  Furthermore, it would allow two siblings to adopt a child together. In this case, if one of the siblings were to become injured, disabled, or killed, the other sibling would automatically have the right to parent the child.

“This arrangement of joint legal parenthood creates the appearance of a family, yet without the stability of traditional marriage,” the bishops said in their March 21 statement. The statement was signed by Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver, Bishop Arthur Tafoya of Pueblo and Bishop Michael Sheridan of Colorado Springs.

“House Bill 1330 will indirectly weaken our normative understanding of family and marriage — which is life-long love of one man and one woman for the benefit of children and the unity of the spouses,” they continued. “This classic definition of marriage is truly what is in the best interests of a child.”

The bishops noted that Colorado voters reaffirmed this notion of marriage and family when they approved Amendment 43, in November 2006, by a strong majority, and rejected Referendum I, which would have gives same-sex couples the same legal benefits as married couples, including the right to adoption.

“House Bill 1330 seeks to circumvent the clearly expressed will of Colorado voters by indirectly changing what the State of Colorado means by the words ‘family and marriage,’” the bishops wrote.

The bishops said elected officials have “a very serious duty” to support marriage and the family. They urged Catholics to review and consider this proposed legislation, and to make their opinions known to their representatives. 

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