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Rockford Catholic diocese to end adoption programs over same-sex civil unions

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Rockford, Ill., Catholic Diocese announced Thursday that it would discontinue adoption and foster care programs rather than be forced to serve same-sex or unmarried opposite-sex couples under the state’s new civil unions law.

Illinois’ civil unions law goes into effect on June 1.

It would require any charity that accepts state money to provide child-care services to treat people in civil unions as it would treat married couples.

The state pays Catholic Charities $30 million annually for its services.

The decision is the first of what could become a domino effect of Catholic Charities leaving the foster care and adoption business to avoid liability if state law requires them to place children with parents in civil unions — either gay or straight.

In Rockford, the decision could displace about 350 foster children served by Catholic Charities and put 58 employees out of work.

Without a specific exemption that protects religious agencies, church officials said they could not risk lawsuits for turning away gay couples or others in civil unions.

When the civil unions law goes into effect next week, the agency would have been forced to “violate the teachings of the Catholic faith,” church leaders said.

Last month, the Illinois Senate voted down a measure that would have allowed religious and faith-based groups to deny same-sex couples from adopting or fostering children.

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Filed under: Illinois

17 more reader comments:

  1. My religion should be ashamed

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:10am
  2. Lesbians can’t raise kids but pedophiles can???? Wtf Catholic church?

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:14am
  3. maybe getting the Catholics out of the baby business is a good thing

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:14am
  4. So, it’s better to let children in need of loving homes to sit even longer in crappy foster care? The pool of loving, caring, compassionate people who are willing to open their hearts and homes to a child not born to them just got a hell of a lot smaller…all because of centuries of dogma. The church of Rome has got to be one of the most destructive forces this planet has ever seen…followed a close second by extremist Islamic practices. Their dogma has destroyed entire families and societies. Wanna ban something? Ban dogmatic thought!

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:16am
  5. Yeah, cause Jesus would totally be on board with that. The church is disgusting.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:24am
  6. this makes no sense at all, adoption should be in the best interest for the child and who can raise them better. Proven fact, same sex adoption parents are better than heterosexual ones.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:28am
  7. And the people who will be hurt the most by this are the kids themselves, robbed of the chance to be placed in loving homes. But, as we’ve seen, the actual welfare of the children is not exactly the the church’s highest priority.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:28am
  8. So… forced birthers want more babies in the world, but don’t want them to be taken care of. Makes perfect sense… if you’re insane.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:36am
  9. Will this keep more kids away from priests?

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:44am
  10. I doubt same sex parents are “better” than opposite sex parents, that merely enforces and “them” vs. “us” mentality. The best parents should be determined based on many factors, but not sex. That is not in the best interest of the child.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 5:58am
  11. If they’re choosing new parents based on whether they’re hetero and married, I’m glad people will be adopting elsewhere.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 7:22am
  12. sounds like child abuse right there to refuse children to be raised by families who want to provide a loving home.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 7:24am
  13. So, rather than place kids in loving homes with glbt parents, the Rockford Diocese, that bastion of humanity, understanding, and tolerance, has decided it’s going to take its toys and go home?! I say, THANK YOU LORD! I’ve seen more kids messed up by the CHURCH than by any GLBT parent.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 7:25am
  14. And do they fail to realise that Christianity is NOT the only religion in this world??? What about kids who are not Catholic? =( Poor kids.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 8:54am
  15. So…okay, they can’t let gays and those in civil unions adopt for moral reasons, but, do they give the kids to non-catholic families? I mean, going by their logic wouldn’t that basically be giving the kid a one way ticket to hell?

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 9:00am
  16. These are family values folks

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 9:22am
  17. Adoption is a social service and shouldn’t be left to private enterprises or religious institutions and charities where the leaders can pick and choose who they’ll serve and who they won’t. Children are not merchandises nor anybody’s properties. They are future citizens therefore it’s our society which is responsible for them, not churches and their alikes.

    Posted on Friday, May 27, 2011 at 9:43am