Children’s rights

Martin Conroy writes (Letters, 26 January) that a focus on the child would lead to opposing same-sex marriage and adoption.

Martin Conroy writes (Letters, 26 January) that a focus on the child would lead to opposing same-sex marriage and adoption.

That flies in the face of the evidence as research shows that children do as well with two parents of the same sex as with mixed-sex parents.

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Many same-sex couples have children. At the moment, they and their children are stigmatised by being unable to marry. If marriage is a good thing for families, then it is surely also a good thing for families with same-sex parents.

More than 15,000 children are being looked after by local authorities in Scotland, of whom thousands are in residential care or with foster carers. There are fewer than 500 adoptions per year, and currently very few by same-sex couples. The evidence from England is that same-sex couples who adopt are more likely to consider adopting so-called “harder to place” children.

The needs of children should be paramount in the adoption system, and supporting same-sex couples to consider adoption is surely consistent with that.

Tim Hopkins

Equality Network


Who does Martin Conroy think he is kidding? For centuries, his Church has vilified and persecuted gay people, and done so openly on Biblical grounds.

Its opposition to equality for LGBT people is a continuation of that ignoble history. But, knowing that it can no longer simply claim “God says so” as justification, it looks for other excuses. So, now we have the “protecting children” ruse, which is a bit rich in view of the Catholic Church’s history of dealing with child abuse.

If the Bible said that same-sex couplings were fine, then the Church would gladly wed gay couples, and help them adopt.

Dr Stephen Moreton

Marina Avenue

Great Sankey, Warrington

Martin Conroy accuses the National Secular Society of coercing St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society into “conforming to a view of the family at odds with Christian belief”.

In fact, we accused the society of breaking the law, and the charities regulator confirmed it had broken both equality and charity law. The regulator cited evidence suggesting “that same-sex couples were more likely than heterosexual couples to consider adopting harder to place children such as sibling groups and older children”. Laudably, St Andrews Children’s Society and numerous English Catholic (or former Catholic) adoption agencies now follow the law, by no longer arbitrarily excluding same-sex parents from the adoption pool. Why not St Margaret’s? The regulator has, commendably, acted without fear or favour and in accordance with its legal obligations. No-one should be abetting the Church or its agencies to evade the law.

Could the government reconsider the propriety of applying pressure on the regulator,

which is supposed to be independent?

Keith Porteous Wood

Executive director

National Secular Society