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Christian doctor reinstated after same-sex adoption row

Ramsey DeHani July 27, 2009
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Dr Sheila Matthews, who was removed last week from a Northamptonshire adoption panel, has been reinstated to the post, but is no longer allowed to vote on any cases.

The 50-year-old paediatrician, from Kettering, will resume her work offering medical advice and opinion to the adoption council.

She will continue her work medically examining prospective parents, but will not be permitted to cast a vote.

The dispute began when Matthews refused to take part on a vote for a same-sex couple to make an adoption and was told that her beliefs were incompatible with equality legislation and council policies.

Dr Matthews said last week: “I don’t feel that placing children for adoption with same-sex couples is the best place for them.

“As a Christian, I don’t believe it’s an appropriate lifestyle and I don’t believe the outcomes for children would be as good as if they were placed with heterosexual couples.”

A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council said: “We have told Dr Matthews that the county council has no objection to her continuing to provide medical advice to the adoption panel.

“However, we have told Dr Matthews that she cannot continue to act as a full member of the adoption panel with voting rights as she is not fulfilling the full duties of a panel member by refusing to vote on adoption issues regarding same sex couples.”

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