Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Referrals and the Sexual-Orientation Regulations

In the recent debate concerning the Sexual-Orientation Regulations and adoption agencies the Roman-Catholic Church asserted that its adoption agencies would have to close if the Regulations were adopted on the grounds that it would be impermissible to place children for adoption with two gay parents even though that is what the Regulations would demand. The curious thing is that agencies such as the Catholic Childrens' Society were already, even though not forced so to do by law, referring gay couples wishing to adopt to other agencies. But if it is wrong to place children for adoption with gay couples surely it is wrong to refer gay couples to agencies that will place children with them?


Joseph Shaw said...

Yes, this has generated a lot of debate in the Catholic press. The policy is clearly wrong. Even The Tablet has pointed out the inconsistency -- indeed moral bankrupcy -- of this policy, which is called 'signposting'. See here.

It's also been claimed, rightly I think, that the inconsistency undermined the bishops' objections to SORs.

Londiniensis said...

As to what "referral" means, I would suggest that telephoning an alternative non-catholic agency and arranging an appointment for the homosexual pair to be seen (the normal meaning of the word "referral") would be directly assisting in the placement, and therefore prima facie immoral.

However, I can't quite decide the moral status of saying "I'm sorry, we can't help you - here is a local authority list of government approved agencies, you may wish to try one of them".

In the real world, it would be an extremely dim pair of homosexuals who would apply to a Catholic adoption agency unless, that is, they were deliberately setting out to become a cause celebre.