Friday, September 02, 2005

How big is the wooden spoon?

So after posting yesterday that David Quinn does not consult gay organisations for their reactions to 'news' stories he writes in the Irish Independent, what does he do? He publishes details about a lesbian couple who are trying to adopt and talks to a gay organisation for more details.

Again does his best to stir up anxiety, mythology and homophobia relating to same sex couples and single people and parenting in his reporting.

Todays article really outdoes yesterday's in terms of seeing which side of the fence he is on.

The ruling is interpreted as giving social workers clearance to assess gays wishing to adopt even [My emphasis] when they are living with a same-sex partner.

And the whole tone is that this lesbian couple will do everything they can to subvert the law to adopt a child if their claim for equal treatment does to go their way. Again this is supposed to be a news story by a correspondent, not an opinion piece in an Irish National Daily Newspaper.

Won't be long now until there is a pontifical knighthood.

Lesbian partners apply to adopt foster child as a couple
Irish Independent 2/9/05

A LESBIAN couple who have fostered a child for a number of years, have applied to the local health authority to adopt the child in both their names in a challenge to the present law which allows only one of them to make the application. The news comes after it was revealed that gay single people,
whether in a cohabiting relationship or not, can be assessed by social workers with a view to adopting a child. The Gay and Lesbian Equality Network (Glen) has confirmed to the Irish Independent the existence of the bid by the couple, who are from Cork, to adopt their foster child in both their names. As reported in yesterday's newspaper, the current situation is that only married couples and single people can apply to adopt a child either here or overseas. The single person can be heterosexual or homosexual and can be living with someone else.

However, if the single person is living in a cohabiting relationship, the application to adopt can be made in one person's name only. The couple in Cork are now challenging this law, which is contained in the Adoption Act, by insisting that they be assessed as a couple, and that any subsequent adoption
take place in both their names.

Keith O'Malley of Glen said that the couple have been fostering the child for the last number of years. He said the child wishes to be adopted by them, and that the child's biological mother also wants the couple to adopt the child. He stated that the only impediment preventing them doing so is the ban on
non-married couples adopting as a couple. Mr O'Malley said he did not think that the couple will challenge the current law in the High Court if their bid to adopt in both their names is rejected by the local health authority, as is expected.

Instead, one of them will apply to adopt as a single person in accordance with the Adoption Act. Mr O'Malley told the Irish Independent that one of the couple already has children of her own from a previous heterosexual relationship. She subsequently moved in with her lesbian partner but they have
had difficulty accessing assisted reproduction techniques such as In-Vitro Fertilisation. As a result, they decided to foster a child because the law permits homosexual couples to do so.

He said that his organisation is "pleased" that social workers are assessing gay single people for adoption, but he believed this right to an assessment needed to be extended to cohabiting people, whether they are homosexual or heterosexual. However, Minister of State for Children Brian Lenihan said there is no plan to allow cohabiting couples to adopt children in
the proposed new Adoption Bill. He said that situation should continue. He also said that the Office of the Attorney General has not given the green light to homosexuals to adopt in its recent ruling to the Adoption Board concerning
single people who cohabit. The ruling says that although non-married couples cannot be assessed together, a single person living with someone else can be assessed so long as their domestic situation is taken into account when
determining their suitability to adopt a child. The ruling is interpreted as giving social workers clearance to assess gays wishing to adopt even when they are living with a same-sex partner.

David Quinn Religious and Social Affairs


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