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Monday, 28 September 2009

Gay and unmarried couples in Scotland can now adopt

I don't know exactly why it is today, but from today, gay and unmarried couples in Scotland will now be able to adopt and also have exactly the same adoption rights as married couples.

This finally brings Scotland into line with England and Wales.

Gay people have always been able to adopt but only as individuals but the new law that comes into force today under the Adoption & Children (Scotland) Act 2007 will give legal rights to both partners.

This piece of legislation is from the days of the Labour/Liberal Democrats administration.

Predictably the Church of Scotland has criticised the move, saying gay relationships are "profoundly unstable".

I've been with my partner for 16 years and neither we or our relationship are unstable. But seriously, how on earth can the Church of Scotland say that gay relationships are unstable as a cause for a child not to be adopted, surely a gay couple (or an unmarried couple) is way better than an individual parent, gay or straight? Is the Church of Scotland really thinking about the children here or just being narrow minded?

Scotland’s director of the British Association for Adoption and Fostering said: "BAAF sees this act as recognising the need for a social care framework that is sensitive to the needs of children and not hung up on legalities.

"Finally, the act is ensuring that all those working within adoption in Scotland are striving to put the needs of children first. It is trying, wherever possible, to shape the legal process around the needs of children with speed and sensitivity and without harming the rights of the birth parents."

1 comment:

Will said...


"Is the Church of Scotland really thinking about the children here or just being narrow minded?"

Can I suggest that it may not necessarily be either? The CoS has, in recent years, taken a more socially progressive stance on, well, practically anything than other denominations but the whole Scott Rennie row has awakened the hardline headbangers from their generation-long slumber. My guess is that the Kirk's intervention is designed primarily to appease that base and, they would hope, prevent further rows and perhaps even a schism over the Kirk's position on homosexuality. Sadly, I suspect this means that the CoS will start to take the Anglican Church's position of compromise, cowardice and casual homophobia and we won't be able to count on it as a forward-looking counterweight to that other major player in Scottish religious life.

But have faith! The law respects us and our right to practice the life we wish to lead. We are moving ever further forward to equality, and better yet, we now find that homophobic outbursts like this - wherever they come from - tend to be either ignored or condemned rather than taken on board. Conversely our community has eloquent representatives - yourself included - who can put our case across more effectively.

Basically, we can afford to live the life we would wish in the best way that we can. If we can do that, while still presenting our case in a rational, effective manner, we win.

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