By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

KETTERING, Northamptonshire, UK, July 27, 2009 ( – Dr. Sheila Matthews, a Christian doctor who was removed as a medical advisor to an adoption panel after asking to be able to abstain from voting on occasions when she would be requested to recommend children for adoption by homosexual couples, has been reinstated by Northamptonshire County Council following media and public support.

However, County Council has stipulated that Matthews will no longer be able to serve the adoption panel as a voting member.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre which represented Dr. Matthews, welcomed the decision, but said it was “entirely unsatisfactory” that Dr. Matthews could not vote.

“We are grateful for the support of the media and the pressure this applied, and to the members of public who made their feelings known to the council, and their desire for justice to prevail,” Williams said.

“However, it is entirely unsatisfactory that she is unable to remain a panel member and vote on the adoption panel on cases where placement with a heterosexual couple is the proposed outcome.”

Dr. Matthews, a community pediatrician with over 18 years experience who has been a medical adviser to the County's Adoption Panel for five years, says she believes it is “inappropriate to place children in a household with same sex parents as the best option.”

She said, following her dismissal, “As a professional I have done a lot of reading around the subject and am satisfied that there are research findings which support my position that a same sex partnership is not the best family setting to bring up children. As a Christian and a paediatrician I believe that children do best with a mother and father in a committed, long term relationship.

“Therefore, I cannot recommend a same-sex household to be in the best interest of a child, despite what politicians may have legislated for, and as those on the Panel have a legal obligation to do what is in the best interest of the child, then I am not able to vote in favour of such placements.”

A council spokesman told the Telegraph there was no objection to Dr. Matthews advising the adoption panel.

“However we have told Dr Matthews that she cannot continue to act as a full member of the adoption panel with voting rights as she is not fulfilling the full duties of a panel member by refusing to vote on adoption issues regarding same sex couples.”

To contact Northamptonshire County Council:

Customer Service Centre
Northamptonshire County Council
John Dryden House
8-10 The Lakes
Phone: 01604 236236
Fax: 01604 236828
E-mail: [email protected]

See previous LSN coverage:

British Doctor Removed from Adoption Panel for Refusal to Consider Same-Sex Couples