Christian adoption agency which places children only with heterosexual married couples must now let gay men and lesbians adopt or be foster parents, rules High Court

  • The High Court ruledthe agency must allow gay men and lesbians to adopt
  • It followed a legal battle with by childcare regulator Ofsted over ‘discrimination’
  • But it can  continue to place children solely with couples who are Christians

Pictured: Cornerstone Adoption and Fostering Service logo

A Christian adoption agency which places children only with heterosexual married couples must in future allow gay men and lesbians to adopt or be foster parents, the High Court ruled yesterday.

It followed a legal battle triggered by childcare regulator Ofsted, which said Cornerstone (North East) Adoption and Fostering Service discriminates against same-sex couples under equality laws.

In his ruling, Mr Justice Julian Knowles agreed that the agency, based in Sunderland, must no longer restrict its dealings to heterosexual couples.

However, he said it can continue to place children solely with couples who are evangelical Christians, and cannot be compelled to abandon its ethos.

Ofsted’s Amanda Spielman said: ‘We are pleased with the outcome of this case.’ 

The Rev Sheila Bamber, of Cornerstone, said: ‘I am saddened that the fundamental place of biblically-based Christian marriage in our beliefs has not been recognised.’

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