The only registered Jewish adoption and fostering agency in England has told PinkNews.co.uk that they are not seeking an exemption from the Sexual Orientation Regulations.

Norma Brier, who is chief executive of the agency, Norwood, confirmed that they will comply with the regulations, which are designed to protect gay lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination when accessing goods and services.

The ongoing debate about whether or not Roman Catholic adoption agencies should be exempted from the new rules has dominated the news agenda all week.

Catholic prelates in England and Scotland have warned that agencies will close rather than consider gay couples.

The Church of England came out in support of the Catholic stance, and the Muslim Council of Britain also issued a statement of support.

Norwood, which is not affiliated to any particular Jewish denomination, but is run along traditional Jewish lines, said in a statement:

“The needs of the child seeking adoption is our primary concern and we would consider applicants from any part of the Jewish community.

“This includes couples and single people who are suitable to adopt and who meet the needs of the variety of children who require substitute care from across the community.

“Our adoption panel is a robust and independent body which makes decisions based on the needs of the child and suitability of the (applicants) parents. We also take into consideration the concerns and wishes expressed by a child’s birth family.”

In its statement, the Muslim Council of Britain expressed solidarity with the Christian churches and said that Islam forbids homosexuality. The council did not express any views about adoption by gay people.