by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) - An independent Christian adoption and fostering agency in England has been downgraded by a government regulator for “unlawful discrimination against same-sex couples” in that it only places children with opposite-sex Christian couples. The agency is seeking Judicial Review of last year’s decision and the case will be heard in Leeds High Court on Wednesday and Thursday.
The Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service in North East England specialize in offering “permanent homes” to children who have been placed in the care of local authorities. The agency’s website states that all its carers are Christian “but the children obviously have a right to choose what they believe.”
Until its decision to downgrade the service last year, Ofsted had consistently given Cornerstone excellent reviews, including: “The support provided to adopted young people and adults and their families is individualized and non-judgmental. The effectiveness of this support is demonstrated by the fact that the agency has not experienced a breakdown of any of its adoptive families since it was registered.”
The Christian Post reports that in 2008, after new equality laws were enacted in Britain, Cornerstone was challenged by the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission about its policy of only placing children with Christian foster parents. However, Cornerstone was successful in its response to that challenge.
Moreover, the Christian Post reports, in 2010 the UK Charity Commission also questioned whether Cornerstone policy is discriminatory and found, rather, that it was lawful because the agency was seeking to offer a distinctly Christian-based adoption and fostering service.