Catholic Charities Pulls out of Adoptions; Boston Move Sparks Fears of Trend
Byline: Cheryl Wetzstein, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The recent decision by Catholic Charities of the Boston Archdiocese to stop offering adoption services to avoid placing children with homosexuals is reverberating through child welfare circles and sparking fears that other Catholic Charities agencies may follow suit.
"Everyone's still reeling from the decision," Marylou Sudders, executive director of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (MSPCC), said yesterday.
"Ultimately, the only losers are the kids," said Maureen Flatley, a Boston adoption consultant and lobbyist. If other Catholic Charities agencies withdraw from public adoption, "you can't even begin to talk about what the impact of that will be nationwide," she said.
On Friday, leaders of the Boston Catholic Charities said they would not be renewing their nearly 20-year-old contract with the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide adoption services, citing state law that says homosexuals must be allowed to adopt.
The Vatican under Pope Benedict XVI has called homosexual adoption "gravely immoral," in part because it deprives children of "the experience of either fatherhood or motherhood."
Recently, Massachusetts' Catholic bishops said Catholic agencies may not provide adoptions to same-sex couples. An attempt by Catholic Charities to obtain an exemption from state law failed in February.
"We have encountered a dilemma we cannot resolve," the Rev. J. Bryan Hehir, president of the Boston Catholic Charities, and Jeffrey Kaneb, chairman of the agency's board of trustees, said in their statement announcing the discontinuation of adoption services. …