Commenting on today's proposals by the Scottish executive to allow unmarried and same sex couples to adopt children, Cardinal Keith O Brien said:
"The Adoption Policy Review Group set up in 2001 has produced a number of recommendations many are positive and practical however the recommendation to allow unmarried couples, including same sex couples, to adopt are clearly not in the best interests of children."
Cardinal O'Brien added;
The proposals to permit homosexual couples to adopt are contrary to the common good. Such a measure would distort the understanding of the family, cause harm to children and promote the status of homosexual relationships. Earlier this week, Pope Benedict XVI referred to unions between people of the same sex as "pseudo-marriage" calling them "expressions of an anarchical freedom, which passes itself off, wrongly, for a true liberation of man." His words deserve our attention."
"Homosexual unions are notoriously fragile and unstable and the small number of homosexual couples living together make the suggestion that this measure would increase the number of potential adoptive parents unrealistic. Sadly, demands for parental rights for homosexual partners are more to do with fulfilling their wish for status rather than meeting needs of children.
Cardinal O'Brien concluded;
"It is the view of the Catholic Church that to place children in such a situation is to put them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral and in open contradiction to the principle, recognized in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, that the best interests of the child, as the weaker and more vulnerable party, are to be the paramount consideration in every case."
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NOTES TO EDITORS:
In Scotland 0.15 % of households (3,300) are headed by a homosexual couple.
Long-term, stable and single partner homosexual partnerships are rare:
In one study, 74% of male homosexuals reported having more than 100 partners during their lifetime and 28% reported having more than 1000 partners.
(cf Bell & Weinberg, Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity among Men and Women, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1978: 308, 346)
In Denmark a form of homosexual marriage has been legalised since 1989. By 1995, fewer than 5% of Danish homosexuals had married and 28% of these marriages had already ended (Wockner; Advocate; 726 4 Feb. 1997: 26)