The head of Christian Concern has spoken out to express her “concern” at the decision by a judge to allow a gay couple to adopt two children against the wishes of their Catholic birth parents, despite that they used to beat them.

The birth parents took the case to the High Court, accusing Kent County Council of “social engineering” by placing their children with a gay couple, but senior Family Court Judge James Munby wrote in his judgement that he saw no reason to block the adoption.

The children, aged two and four, were put up for adoption over concerns about the couple’s parenting and alleged neglect. The court had heard that the parents had often left their children alone, leaving them unkempt and dirty, with their father admitting to regularly beating them.

Christian Concern CEO Andrea Williams commented on the organisation’s site, saying she “concerns” were raised by the placement of the children with the couple, claiming they would be “distressed”, and asking why Catholic adoptive parents were not chosen.

Claiming that she was unaware of the case, she failed to note that the court hear of the children’s neglect.

She said: “We do not know all the details as to why adoption was deemed necessary but leaving that aside, this case raises profound concerns. Why is it not possible to accommodate the beliefs of the natural parents and act in the best interests of the children? Why are these beliefs about marriage, which the government claims are protected, being trampled on? It is causing great present distress to the parents and as they have outlined is likely to cause great distress to the children in the future. Why not seek adoptive parents who share the beliefs of these parents?”

Lucie Boddington, of Slovakian charity Children Belong to Parents, has since said the parents will take their case to the European Court of Human Rights.