Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Monday, January 29, 2007

Adoption Agencies may Close

The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has warned that its adoption agencies might have to close because of new gay rights laws at Westminster.

It is claimed the new legislation would take precedence over Holyrood's own recently-enacted adoption reforms.

A Scottish Executive spokesman had given an assurance that its laws would not affect the ability of faith-based adoption agencies to continue operating, although he acknowledged the new Westminster legislation could change that situation.

Mario Conti, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, issued a public plea to First Minister Jack McConnell to put the church's concerns to Tony Blair and other UK ministers. One way to resolve the issue, he said, would be for Westminster to bring in follow-up legislation which would allow couples in civil partnerships to adopt, without requiring all adoption agencies to change their existing practice.

The archbishop told the First Minister: "Unless the equality legislation' is amended in so far as it affects adoption agencies, and exceptions made to cover this and other areas of conscience, it is unlikely that Catholic adoption agencies will survive."

He insisted this was not a threat or attempted blackmail, but a recognition that their adoption agencies would be unlikely to keep their registered status.

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