Since I’m a bleeding heart liberal on most days*, it might come as a surprise to some that I don’t support requiring religious adoption agencies to work with same-sex couples.
This is definitely not to say that I don’t think same-sex couples should raise children. As long as a relationship is healthy, respectful, and responsible, I think children raised in that environment have a better than average chance to be well-rounded, compared to children raised in dysfunctional families, homo or hetero.
Having covered my arse there, here’s what I think. Adoption agencies should be given the freedom to appeal to ‘niche markets’, as it were. I think there are enough non-denominational agencies that serve the majority of the adoption-seeking market, so what’s the harm in some religious agencies choosing to serve only heterosexual couples (I’ve always wondered if a woman who likes to wear strap-ons married to a man who likes to have his fudge packed would be considered a heterosexual couple)? IMHO, if a gay couple chooses to go to a religious adoption agency, knowing full well that that agency feels their union is wrong, they are deliberately seeking conflict. And people who seek unnecessary conflict are not going to be the best parents.
There appears to be a market niche that hasn’t been filled just yet. Since the UK now legalises gay unions, why can’t there be an adoption agency that has a specialty in placing children with these couples?
(Neil agrees that religious agencies should be allowed to discriminate, too, but for different reasons. He thinks adopted children are stigmatised enough, to then add ‘gay parents’ to the mix just makes things worse — but he thinks offspring of gay couples who used a surrogate or sperm donor would be more okay. To me, this begs the question of what is more stigmatising in the playground, being adopted or having same-sex parents?)
* I’m beginning to think I’m more of a libertarian now.