Norwood gives green light to gay adoption
GAY COUPLES will be able to adopt Jewish children as a result of new anti-discrimination laws, Norwood, the Jewish family charity, confirmed this week.
Both the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church are pressing for exemption for their adoption agencies from the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, due to come into effect in April. The new laws will make it illegal to deny goods and services to people because they are homosexual.
But Norma Brier, chief executive of Norwood, said this week that Norwood is “not considering an exemption”.
The charity is involved in placing children for adoption nationally as well as within the Jewish community.
“The needs of the child seeking adoption is our primary concern and we would consider applicants from any part of the Jewish community,” Ms Brier said. “This includes couples and single people who are suitable to adopt, and who meet the needs of the variety of children who require substitute care from across the community.
“Norwood’s adoption panel is an independent body which makes decisions based on the needs of the child and suitability of the parents. We also take into consideration the concerns expressed by a child’s birth family.”
Under the new anti-discrimination laws, religious groups will be exempt in some areas.
A spokeswoman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said this week that the government “fully recognises the value of gay and lesbian parents”. But she added: “The debate around better protection on the basis of sexual orientation has been beset by wild speculation on all sides.
“No decisions have been taken on the content and it is premature to speculate on the regulations when we are still hearing strong views on all sides of the debate.”