NewsMon Dec 11, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST
Scottish Parliament Approves Homosexual Adoption Bill
By Gudrun Schultz
NEW EDINBURGH, Scotland, December 11, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Scotland’s Parliament voted Dec. 7 overwhelmingly in favour of a measure to grant homosexual couples adoption rights, the Evening Times reported Sunday.
Members of the Scottish Parliament voted 101 to six in favour of the controversial Adoption and Children (Scotland) Bill. Under the proposed legislation, adoption rights would be extended to groups formerly seen as too instable or not in the best interests of the child, including unmarried and homosexual couples.
Parliament rejected proposed amendments that would have protected faith-based adoption agencies from being forced to place children with same-sex couples, the Scotsman reported Dec. 8.
Currently in Scotland only married heterosexual couples or single people can legally adopt a child. Homosexual couples can raise a child together, but only one of them is regarded as the legal guardian.
The proposal to broaden adoption access was defended by some Members of Scottish Parliament on the grounds that there are less heterosexual married couples seeking children for adoption.
Education minister Hugh Henry said in debate on Friday that adoption applications have fallen to 400 per year from 1000 20 years ago. While MSP ministers want to encourage more married couples to adopt, Henry said, “We also recognise there are others who can be equally loving, equally caring and need to reflect that in our legislation.”
Roseanna Cunningham, Perth MSP, put forward an amendment to the bill that would have blocked the inclusion of homosexual couples, saying limiting adoption rights to the traditional family unit was in the best interests of children.
“We have a pattern of family life which we have had for generation upon generation,” Cunningham, a Catholic, said. “All the research show it is the best way to raise children and I do not think we should depart from that lightly.
“The Scottish Parliament vote cannot stand on its head what has come before and we cannot bemoan the consequences of family breakdown and at the same time do things that undermine the traditional family.”
Despite adhering to a left-wing political stance—the Perth MSP voted in favour of civil partnerships for homosexual couples—Cunningham said Parliament needed to respect public opposition to the move, pointing out that most consultation submissions on the bill objected to homosexual adoption.
“I have concerns about pushing so far ahead of public opinion. I do think there is a considerable body of evidence that suggests that the best place for a child is in an intact, standard family background. I think people are concerned about where family life is going in this country.”
“The one truth we know about nature is that in order to have a child you need two people of opposite sex,” she said. “I appreciate for some people that is an obstacle which they think can be overcome. In my view, we have to proceed very cautiously before we go down that route.”
Murdo Fraser, deputy leader of the Conservative party, also opposed the bill.
“Many people believe that children need a strong male and female role model and are concerned that adoption by same-sex couples excludes that possibility and is not in the best interests of children,” Fraser said.
“People who express these [views] are not homophobes, or extremists or religious nutters, as some would suggest. They have genuine concerns and their concerns should not be dismissed.”
Leader of the Scottish Catholic Church, Cardinal Keith O’Brien, said, “Of course it is better for a child to be in a loving home. But a loving home means a mum and dad.”
“Basically, it is just not the natural way in which children have ever been brought up. It certainly is an immoral decision. We are descending into a spiral of immorality.”
Read coverage by the Scotsman:
See related LifeSiteNews coverage:
Scotland Bishop Blasts Parliament Decision to Allow Gay Adoption
Homosexual Adoption Measure Passes First Round in Scottish Parliament