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Friday, November 17, 2017

Canadian Evangelicals Denied Adoption Due to Faith

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An evangelical Christian couple, identified in court documents only by their initials, have charged the Alberta provincial government with religious discrimination based on their religious beliefs regarding human sexuality that resulted in their application for adoption being rejected.

The couple, who live in Edmonton, allege the Ministry of Children’s Services told them their religious beliefs related to gender and sexuality were “contrary to the official position of the Alberta government.” They completed a Safe Home Study Report—a document that asks a series of questions about prospective adoptive parents’ income, lifestyle, and home routines—in February.

According to the Edmonton Journal, they indicated they hoped to adopt a child, or up to three siblings, between the ages of 7 and 17, through the Catholic Social Services program. CSS social workers quickly recommended them for adoption approval, but noted that a “homosexual child” should not be placed with them.

The reason given: “though they said would unconditionally love a child questioning or exploring their sexuality, they would not support the ‘lifestyle,’ which could mean a child may not feel accepted.” In mid-March, they were contacted again and told Child and Family Services had additional questions about their views on sexuality.

According to several emails, which were admitted as evidence, the worker and couple discussed the issue. There were several additional meetings with CSS and CFS officials, during which the couple said they would seek counseling and support if a child in their care began questioning his or her sexuality, but noted they could not encourage a lifestyle they knew “caused a higher proportion of anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts than other lifestyles.”

Their application to adopt was formally rejected May 3.

In their complaint before the Court of Queen’s Bench in Edmonton, filed earlier this month, the wife stated:

"If we did not change our religious beliefs regarding sexuality, to conform to the beliefs of Child and Family Services, we would not be approved for adoption."

The couple is asking the court to rule that their religious freedoms were violated and the CFS be ordered to approve their adoption application. In response to questions about the application rejection from the Journal, a Ministry of Children’s Services spokesman said the government believes “every adoptive child deserves a safe, healthy, loving and inclusive home.”

Credit to Trunews

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