Catholic-Affiliated Adoption Agency Recruiting Homosexual Adoptive Parents

Tue May 29, 2007 - 12:15 pm EST

By John Jalsevac

  SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 29, 2007 ( - The Bay Area adoption/foster care agency, Family Builders, partnering with the City and County of San Francisco, has launched a controversial ad campaign in the hope of attracting more homosexual couples to adopt children.

Two of the posters that form the core of the campaign feature homosexual couples together with their adopted children. The signs either use the slogan "Family Planning," with the phrase beneath, "Our family was no accident-we planned for it," or the slogan "Intelligent Design," with the phrase, "Before we started our family we considered all the options."

  Family Builders is the adoption agency that San Francisco’s Catholic Charities partnered with last year after the government enforced legislation mandating that all adoption agencies permit homosexual adoptions.  Rather than follow the lead of Boston’s Catholic archdiocese, which closed its adoption services rather than be associated with homosexual adoption, San Francisco Catholic Charities side-stepped Catholic teaching on the intrinsic immorality of homosexual adoption by partnering with Family Builders.

  In August of last year Catholic Charities announced that they would be sending three employees to work at California Kids Connection, which is Family Builders’ online adoption agency.  At the time Archbishop Niederauer told the Globe that he believed sending Catholic Charities employees to help homosexuals adopt children was a matter of "remote cooperation," and therefore justifiable.

  A 2003 statement from the Catholic Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, however, then under the leadership of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, said that homosexual adoptions "mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development."

 "I think Catholic Charities in San Francisco is very supportive of all our work, they’re just restrained by church edicts," said Jill Jacobs, the executive director of Family Builders, according to the California Catholic Daily, in reference to the new campaign.

  Although Catholic Charities did not respond directly to Family Builders’ ad campaign, Executive Director Brian Cahill did write to the Daily saying, "We greatly admire the work of Family Builders by Adoption, and that is why we have partnered with them on the California Kids Connection Web site, to help find adoptive homes for the most vulnerable children in the foster care system."

  Ironically, considering the support given to Family Builders by Catholic Charities, in some measure the new ad campaign is being launched in direct defiance of conservative and religious groups, in particular the Catholic Church, who have voiced strong opposition to allowing homosexual couples to adopt.

  The phrase "Intelligent Design" is the name given to certain scientific theories of evolution that are most often associated with fundamentalist Christians. By using the phrase in the context of homosexual adoption the adoption agency is making a thinly veiled stab at the religious right.

  In reference to the current ad campaign Family Builders supervisor Bevan Dufty claimed that, "The religious right…only seems to care about how a child gets here, and once they’re here, they’re somebody else’s problem."

"The campaign is very timely, given the current efforts of fundamentalist Christian groups who are trying to prevent LGBT families from adopting." said Les Pappas, the Creative Director of Better World Advertising, the advertising agency that created the posters. "This campaign sends a very clear message—in San Francisco, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders are not only allowed to adopt, but are strongly encouraged."

  In reference to the mounting controversy about the ad campaign, Trent Rhorer, executive director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency said, "It’s welcome…Bring it on."

  The Family Builders campaign was announced only several weeks after Focus on the Family held an adoptive summit in Colorado Springs. At that summit Focus on the Family and its supporters sought to find ways to more effectively encourage Christian families to consider adoption.

"Historically, Christians have cared about orphans," said Mark Andre, Director of the Orphan Care Initiative at Focus on the Family. "And we still do. But we need to raise awareness of the practical means for translating care into action. Churches and families need the facts, resources, encouragement and support to take on this challenge in a way that gets the job done. We want to see these children in permanent, loving homes, and the goal of the summit is to support that mission with greater purpose and urgency."

  To respectfully express your concern write:

  Most Rev. George H. Niederauer
  The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco
  One Peter Yorke Way
  San Francisco, CA 94109
  415 614 5500
  E-mail: [email protected]


  Catholic Charities San Francisco
  180 Howard Street, Suite 100
  San Francisco, CA 94105
  [email protected]
  Voice: 415.972.1200
  Fax: 415.972.1201

  Read related coverage:

  San Francisco Catholic Adoption Staff to Work With Gay Friendly Agency

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