Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Monday, February 05, 2007

Fostering Agency Faces Closure
(press release)

Christian fostering agency faces closure under Sexual Orientation Regulations

A Christian fostering and adoption support service today announced it faces closure because the Government will not grant an exemption to the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

Following on from the statements of the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England, Cornerstone (North East) Adoption and Fostering Service wrote to the Prime Minister calling for protection from the regulations.

All prospective carers with Cornerstone (based in Stockton-on-Tees) must be Christians and they agree to live by the Bible's teaching. This means that among others, people of no, or other faith, heterosexual unmarried couples and practising homosexuals, are currently referred to alternative providers.

Following a meeting of carers, Trustees and staff, The Chairman of Trustees, Robin Singleton, said today:

"Cornerstone was founded as an agency for Bible believing Christians who want to provide a 'forever family' to some of the most vulnerable children in our society. By any measure Cornerstone is a very successful agency with outstanding outcomes for children. In our 7-year history more than half of the children have been adopted by their foster carers and our breakdown rate is exceptionally low.

"We are deeply concerned that our freedom to provide this service within a faith-based organisation is being denied. Cornerstone provides a unique service in the North East where the faith of its foster and adoptive carers is understood, supported and valued. Carers come to us in preference to other agencies for this reason. Other carers in society can readily have their needs met by an abundance of other providers. This lack of tolerance of Christians expressing their faith through service provision is of real concern and an outrageous infringement of our freedom.

One of our young adults says:

"I am one of the first children to be placed, and adopted, in a family by Cornerstone and I think it is totally shocking that you are going to shut down a good fostering agency just because they don't believe it's right for any fostered child to be brought up by people of the same sex whether they are gay or lesbian. There are plenty of other agencies out there who would be happy with allowing gay couples to foster children"

Robin concluded by saying:

"The implications of this proposed legislation are far reaching and will have a profound effect on services to the public through the reduction of faith-based organisational activities."

The Director of The Christian Institute, Colin Hart, said:

"Cornerstone is providing an excellent service for children. They want to do so because they are Christians, but under the regulations they face closure.

"Most reasonable people would question why our elected government would want to legislate in favour of gay rights supporters who want to close down welfare organisations offering public services which disagree with them. It is not only Cornerstone but many other religious charities will be affected, such as nursing homes, homes for the elderly, guest houses, the list is endless."

For more information contact: Mike Judge 0191 281 5664

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