Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Christian couple refuse to give foster children to gay parents

Foster parents 'shocked and bewildered' because their children are thriving under mum-and-dad dynamic, says Christian legal campaigner

Peter Walker
Tuesday 08 November 2016 02:16 GMT
Andrea Williams, whose Christian Concern group opposed same-sex marriage legislation, says the family is happy as it is
Andrea Williams, whose Christian Concern group opposed same-sex marriage legislation, says the family is happy as it is (Christian Concern/YouTube)

A husband and wife are fighting against their foster children’s adoption by two gay men because they “need a mother and father”.

The foster parents, who have been caring for the two pre-school kids since the beginning of the year, were last month told a same-sex couple were being lined up.

After the father asked “you’re joking?”, a social worker allegedly said their own adoption request would not be considered, because their discriminatory viewpoint makes them “unfit to be adoptive parents”.

The pair are using the Christian Legal Centre campaign group and a religious freedom barrister to try vetoing the local council’s decision.

In an interview with The Independent, Christian Legal Centre director Andrea Williams said the pair were "shocked and bewildered".

“We have here a couple who are very successful at fostering these pre-school age children who are thriving in their care,” said Mrs Williams, whose Christian Concern group opposed same-sex marriage legislation.

“There are also two older children who have accepted them for all intents and purposes and everything was fine.

“Suddenly to be told they would be placed in a same-sex household, this really came out of the blue to them.”

The parents say they were repeatedly told through the year that they cannot adopt because their three-bedroom home is too small.

“To be told that there viewpoint was discriminatory, that their fitness to adopt was coming into question, and told the children would be removed, was very difficult for them.

Chris Bryant makes an emotional plea for further action in pardoning gay men

“It’s as if the system has jumped over them and approved the same sex-couple without them knowing.”

The local council, which like the parent’s names, cannot be identified for legal reasons, hold parental authority over the children.

Mrs Williams added: “The foster parents feel shocked and bewildered by this. They desperately want to keep them where they are thriving.”

Asked why a same-sex pairing, who the foster couple have never met, might be worse parents, she said: “They believe that the children, who have had a very difficult start in life, need a mother and father.

“They are thriving under a complimentary relationship where a mother and father bring different elements to a family dynamic and provide distinctive roles in a family unit.

“It’s nothing to do with the men, it’s about the progression these children have made.

“They shouldn’t be inhibited for making that opinion because that is freedom of expression."

“We have met the family and met the youngest of the children and they have made a happy family and it would be tragic for that to be broken up," she added.

Asked by The Sunday Times how the parents would respond if one of the children came out as gay, the husband said: “It is hard to accept, but we would accept it.”

The newspaper wrote how the parents received a glowing review in September and were lauded for working well with professionals and for using a strong support network – including their church.

Two days after after being told the gay couple were lined up, the husband and wife formally applied to adopt the children.

The Independent understands that barrister Paul Diamond will argue the parents have been unfairly discriminated against on the grounds of religion.

Christian bakers lose appeal over pro-gay marriage cake

A council spokesman told The Independent: “Due to matters of confidentiality we can only confirm that the director of children’s and adults’ services will review the case this week.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in