A Catholic woman whose son was placed with a gay foster couple after she was unable to look after him is taking legal action over the case, saying the child could be “encouraged” into a lifestyle which is against her beliefs.

The Brighton woman, who cannot be named, suffered a mental breakdown a year ago, reportedly the result of an abusive marriage.

The ten-year-old boy has been in care for months but is due to begin living with the male couple at the hotel they run tomorrow as a permanent placement.

The woman is being represented by the Thomas More Legal Centre, a Catholic legal charity.

Neil Addison, director of the centre, said: “We are advising her on her legal options and seeking to resolve the matter with the council by agreement.”

Her priest said: “This isn’t about a gay couple in a private home, this is about a gay couple running a hotel where they also live, where they cannot restrict who the child is going to meet. That’s my anxiety.”

A friend of the woman said: “Both are Catholic. She is a committed Catholic, he has been baptised a Catholic and brought up by his mother as one.

“She knows she is unwell and cannot cope with looking after him. All she wants is for him to be raised in a regular family atmosphere, by a man and a woman.

“She would prefer a Catholic couple, but if that is not possible, at least a heterosexual one. But social services have given her no choice. She cannot understand how he can be looked after by two men she’s never met.

“Her belief is that they could encourage him into a lifestyle that is against her religious beliefs.”

Brighton and Hove Council has one of the highest rates of fostering and adoption by gay couples. A spokesman said: “We will not comment on any issue relating to the welfare of a child in the care of the council.”

A spokeswoman from the British Association for Adoption and Fostering said: ““It would be inappropriate to comment on this report without knowing all the facts. We would simply note that there are tens of thousands of foster carers supporting children in care across the UK.

“Foster carers come from a diverse range of backgrounds but what they need to have in common is a strong focus on providing safe, warm and effective care for children.”

In April, a family launched a legal battle after a court decision ruled two brothers aged six and nine should be adopted by a gay couple.

The boys were taken into care reportedly after their mother allowed them to have contact with their father, who she alleged beat her.

Their grandmother said: “Our grandsons are being forcibly taken from a family who want them dearly. We are worried they will be indoctrinated into a different lifestyle. This is social engineering by the state.”