Anti-gay Canadian couple sue over being denied right to adopt
A couple in Canada is suing the provincial government after they say they were refused adoption rights because they are anti-gay.
The evangelical couple from Alberta is suing the provincial government.
The un-named couple say they had initially been given the recommendation to adopt.
They said a Catholic Social Services agent had said she was “pleased” to recommend the couple for adoption.
Legal documents state that the couple is employed, homeowners and that they had a “happy and healthy” community network.
They had wanted to adopt one child, or as many as three siblings aged 7 to 17.
But they specified that they would not adopt a “homosexual child” because of their religious beliefs.
When they made that specification, the Alberta Child and Family Services department put the adoption on hold.
The department then called for further home study into the couple.
Canada’s Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (JCCF), a legal organisation is representing the couple.
The couple is claiming that their evangelical views have meant they are being discriminated against.
Earlier this year, in March, the Catholic Social Services agency, said it was “reversing its recommendation that they be approved for adoption.”
A statement from JCCF said: “The rejection letter enclosed a revised Home Study Report that stated the couple should not be approved as adoptive parents because they would be unable to ‘help’ a child who ‘has sexual identity issues.’
“The rejection letter did not explain how or why the couple would be unable to ‘help’ a child that they valued, loved and respected. The couple asked Catholic Social Services to reconsider their decision, but were refused.”
The couple were later told by the Child and Family Services office that their views on adopting a gay child amounted to a “rejection” of LGBT people.
They have since been told that their rejection by the agency is final.
“I was angry at the injustice of the situation,” said the wife in a court affidavit.
“Despite our stability, our kindness, our dedication to helping people, despite our willingness to take a child in who needed parents, and consider him or her our own for the rest of our lives, we were being discriminated against based on our religious beliefs.”
John Carpay, the president of the JCCF, said that “making determinations about who is suitable to adopt on the basis of their sincere religious beliefs violates this couple’s right to religious freedom and equality under the law as guaranteed in the [Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms] and in Alberta’s own Bill of Rights and Human Rights Act.”
Carpay went on to say that the decision should be successfully challenged otherwise it “would have grave consequences for the freedoms of all Canadians, not to mention adverse consequences for the many children who will never be adopted if the government continues with this discrimination.”
The couple wishes to have a court declaration that the decision was “unreasonable” and it represents a “void by virtue of arbitrariness, bias, bad faith, as well as breaches of procedural fairness and natural justice.” The Centre is also seeking a court order to approve the couple as adoptive parents.
UPDATE: This article originally referred to the JCCF as a ‘Christian’ legal organisation. This was amended to ‘legal organisation’.