Canada: Evangelical Edmonton Couple Says Alberta Nixed Adoption Over Their Failure to Support Same-Sex Marriage and Homosexuality

“They said they never dreamed they would be disqualified from helping children in need because of their religious beliefs.”

They were told every adopted child deserves “an inclusive home.”

They are going to court over this, their application for judicial review saying that the couple’s views are shared by Catholics, other Christians, Muslims and Orthodox Jews, and this move denies the couple’s right to religious freedom and equality under the law.

Edmonton is the capital city of Alberta, one of Canada’s 10 provinces.

This case illustrates how the legalization of gay marriage comprehensively takes command of many aspects of life.

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I guess the problem is, what happens if their potential child had turned out to be gay? If social services (or the Canadian version of this) thought there could be serious issues from this, that may have been the reason for turning down the adoption.

Interestingly, there was an article written by the BBC a couple of days ago about adopted children and exclusion from school: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-41915775. The focus on rejection of adopted children via exclusion is not one I had considered before - perhaps this idea is what leads adoption applications to be turned down.

I shared this story a few days earlier and I commented that this is probably going to create a problem for pro-lifers. This is because those who are most likely going to adopt will be prevented from adopting simply because they support chastity. This will lead to many children not being adopted and then the pro-abortion activists will claim pro-lifers are ‘hypocrites’ and they’ll point at all of those children that have not been adopted, even though they added a massive barrier over a non-issue.
How sad to see something like this happen in what was once one of Canada’s more sane provinces. RIP Alberta.

Interesting.
But I have seen many here on this forum say they do not think same-sex couples should be legally allowed to adopt…or they would not want their kids to be adopted by someone who is Muslim, for example.

That, too, is disqualifying a couple from helping children in need because of their beliefs.

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What serious issues can one presume likely because the parents consider homosexual behaviour (including marriage) to be morally wrong? Does this mean it is now unacceptable to bring up adopted children in any of the faiths that consider these things wrong? And if it is, it is not much of a stretch to see what the “authorities” would consider mandatory to teach in schools (sex education needs to go well beyond the birds and the bees). And why should private/church schools be exempted?

Declaring marriage equally possible for same sex couples will drive flow-on impacts well beyond the private interests of same sex couples.

I would have thought that, other things being equal, “mother + father” is the preferred parenting structure.

I was considering the idea of rejection again. Often, adopted children can have issues with rejection because they have been ‘rejected’ in some way by their birth parents, or they may have attachment or abandonment issues. Perhaps they were turned down in order to make sure another ‘rejection’ doesn’t happen if that child turned out to be gay. I know Catholicism doesn’t teach ‘shun your child if they are gay’, but I suppose it would depend more on how the child were to understand that concept. This is all hypothetical, of course, but something I was considering as a reason.

You answer your own question - “shun your own child” is no part of the Catholic attitude to homosexuality, or premarital sex or…

No, it isn’t. But my point is an adopted child, who may already have issues with abandonment or attachment, may not see the statement that “homosexuality is wrong” and that they “don’t support same sex marriage” as anything other than a rejection. From the article, it says the couple are evangelical, I don’t know what their stance is other than they disagree.

And that may fit for most Catholics, but I come from a background where shunning family members happened quite a bit, and yes, that would include teenagers who had been baptized and then committed some sin warranting their expulsion.

People are free to practice whatever religion they please, but surely adoption authorities must have some right to determine if certain kinds of beliefs might not be in the best interests of an adopted child.

I’m curious though. Let’s imagine you adopted a child, and then, ten years later, when they’re a teenager, they come at as gay. What would be your reaction? How would you deal with it? Because that’s what adoption authorities have to consider.

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Which they did based on no relevant information. The implication of what you say is that only those believing sexual relationships between persons of the same sex are good are “safe” to parent a child.

I can’t imagine what you have in mind. But regardless, the agency did not ask whether the would-be parents would expel the child.

I’m not defending this particular decision, but surely we can all agree that there are some kinds of religious beliefs that would disqualify someone from adopting a child. If your church preaches what amounts to hatred of LGBTQ (and let’s be honest, there are certainly churches that do), what is going to happen to a child that comes out in such an environment?

The difference is, an adopted child is not the same. They may have attachment disorders, issues with rejection, abandonment issues. In that situation, the adoption authorities have to make sure that the child is not placed somewhere that such rejection make take place. Even if the couple has no problems with people who are gay, the issue that they overall do not support acting on their feelings, that may be construed by the child as a rejection.

I think the speculation is not productive.

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It is a meaningless “what-if” game though. They might as well say, “Well what if the child gets in a car accident and gets paralyzed from the waist down later in life. How do we know the adoptive parents will still support the child? What if the child gets tattoos? Do you these potential parents support tattoos? We must know if they are accepting”. It’s silly.

The message this really sends is that a secular ideology is the only acceptable ideology by the state, and any chance they have to enforce this, they will. Its all well and good for you to be a Christian, just don’t go try living it out among the rest of us.

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How is it a meaningless what-if? I grew up in a religion that I most certainly wouldn’t want any young gay person to have to face if they were adopted by a family that was a member of.

And really, here we go again with an reductio ad absurdum. You don’t think there’s a legitimate concern here that an adopted child, if they were to come out at some point before they left home, could face serious problems in certain households? Or is it that you think so little of gay people that you compare homosexuality to tattoos?

No, what I think is absurd is assuming the worst of potential adoptive parents by extrapolating hypothetical situations onto them and assuming they would make the worst possible decision for the child based on nothing but the bias of the state representative. Screen couples out for potential abuse? Thats great. Identify couples who show signs of being neglectful? Outstanding. Disqualify couples because they are religious and you don’t like that faith? That is absurd.

Earlier you stated that adoption agencies should be able to consider things such as religious belief as grounds to deny adoption if it is not in the best interest of the child. I would ask, who gets to decide what beliefs are acceptable for parents to hold. Why is supporting SSM a good parenting trait, but opposing SSM a bad parenting trait. Who is deciding what is acceptable beliefs for a parent to hold? We are not talking fitness to provide here, we are talking about denying adoption based on the political and moral beliefs of the adoptive parent.

Moreover, we are not talking about adopting a child who is already known to be homosexual. We are talking about distant and unlikely hypothetical situations that will probably never be encountered. They are denying adoption based on, basically, libel.

It is my view that as long as a couple is able and willing to provide for and raise a child and are stable individuals, they are qualified to adopt.

So yes, I think it absurd to assume that if this adopted child turned out to be homosexual, the most likely outcome is that they would be rejected, shunned, abused, or disowned by the adoptive parents based on the statement, “I disagree that Same sex marriage is the same as traditional marriage”. That is absurd, and demonstrates nothing more than bias against people of faith.

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So what is the most likely outcome if someone who objects to SSM has an adopted child announce at some point that they are gay?

Was “what would your reaction be if your child came out as gay?” One of the screening questions?
Or did the agency just make a bunch of assumptions?

And, is any parent under obligation to approve of a child’s every decision? (I’m not talking feelings, I’m talking actions)

There seems to be an underlying assumption (not from you, but something I’ve come across in general), that there are only two possible reactions to "I’m gay"
One is: being cast out into the cold cruel world
Two is: ecstatic glee

Is there nothing else?

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I want to be careful in how I say things, because I don’t want you to think I’m attacking Catholicism, or Christianity in general. However, I don’t see this as a religious issue, more an issue of the potential impact on the child if they were to be gay in a family that, according to the article, “believes homosexuality to be wrong”. I don’t know what that means exactly, whether it’s like Catholicism where the feeling is okay but the actions are not or a blanket statement on being gay. But back to the child, and I have to say again, adopting a child is different because of possible attachment/abandonment/rejection issues. It can be very difficult for an adopted child to get past this, and putting them in a situation where they could feel rejection again because of their sexual orientation (even if the caveat is not acting on it) may actually lead them to regress.

Honestly, I think it needs to be much more specialised then that. In the UK, 1 in 3 adoptions break down, despite having two people who desperately want a child, and have no issues as a barrier to adoption. In some situations, parents simply cannot cope with the child’s behaviour, or they fail to bond because of previous attachment issues. Additionally, some children may have abuse or other trauma in their past, which is again very difficult for adoptive parents to help with. The issue is then that if that adoption breaks down, it only reinforces the idea that the child isn’t wanted and the cycle continues. I’m not saying this is every situation, every adoption, but I think it is much more common than people sometimes realise.

They did also apparently say that they believed homosexuality was wrong, which was possibly the statement that caused their application to be rejected. It is sad, but the general issues with adopting a child on top of a possible (however remote) chance of a further rejection was taken into account, and was considered on balance to not be worth the possible risk. I do feel sorry for the couple.

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