Current Affairs

Scotland rejects adoption prejudice

Tony Grew December 7, 2006
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The Scottish Parliament this afternoon rejected a motion to block gay and lesbian couples from adopting by 98 votes to 11.

The motion was proposed by Scottish Nationalist MSP Roseanna Cunningham. She told MSPs that the majority of Scots had concerns about gays adopting children.

She added that in her opinion the best place for children to be raised was in a household with a mother and father.

“It has nothing to do with gay rights. It’s about what’s in the best interests of the children,” she said.

The SNP distanced themselves from the rebel MSP for Perth. The party’s spokeswomen on education made clear that the Nationalists support all adoption.

Currently only 400 children a year find a new home, while over 6000 remain in local authority care.

Ms Cunningham’s motion was heavily criticised by MSPs of all parties. Liberal Democrat MSP and lesbian mother of five Margaret Smith called her position illogical, as gay individuals can already adopt a child. She added that her attitude was in “the worst interests of children.”

The Conservatives opposed the motion, calling it discriminatory. For the Green party, MSP Patrick Harvie said: “It is wrong to prejudge a same-sex couple as inadequate parents, not only because it is an insult to them, it removes the possibility of making the right decision where they are an appropriate and worthy couple to be adoptive parents.”

The bill, which allows gay and unmarried couples to adopt, is expected to pass this evening.

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