Thinking Anglicans

Charity Tribunal rejects adoption agency's latest request

Third Sector reports:

The charity Catholic Care has been refused permission to appeal against a ruling that it cannot exclude gay couples from using its adoption service.

That earlier ruling was reported here on 26 April: Charity Tribunal rejects appeal from Catholic adoption agency.

This latest ruling can be found at Decision on Application for Permission to Appeal (7 June 2011).

…In the document, Alison McKenna, principal judge of the charity tribunal, wrote: “I have concluded that the grounds of appeal before me do not identify ‘errors of law’ in the decision.

“In the circumstances, I conclude that there is no power for the tribunal to review its decision in this case and I have also, for the same reasons, concluded that permission to appeal should be refused.”

Benjamin James, a solicitor at the law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, acting on behalf of Catholic Care, told Third Sector the charity could appeal to the Upper Tribunal for a review of the charity tribunal’s decision not to allow the appeal. He said trustees had not decided whether to do so.

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Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Why does the Roman Catholic Church continue in its programme of discrimination against monogamous, partnered, gay couples, whose only interest in offering themselves as adoptive parents is to do what is best for the child?

It is good that the Charity Tribunal is only interested in what is best for the child – not for the inbuilt discriminatory culture of the agency.

12 years ago

Please remember that this is not the “Roman Catholic Church” as a whole but just one agency serving 3 dioceses – Hallam, Leeds,& Middlesbrough. Other Catholic child-care agencies in England & Wales, e.g. the Cabrini Children’s Society, have managed to comply with the legislation with no detriment to the children or families they serve.Historically, these other agencies have not discriminated against either single people or lesbian and gay people, and they decided that new legislation was not a reason to start discriminating now nor betray their previous good practice.

Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

Thanks, Martin, for that assurance. I guess who the Bishop of the diocese is may make a difference.

Robert ian Williams
Robert ian Williams
12 years ago


Why does the Equality act, religious exemption law ..not apply here.. is it because since 1973, the Social Services have handled and overseen the adoption processs?

Simon Sarmiento
12 years ago

The Equality Act 2010 is not the relevant legislation here.

Rather it is the The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, made under section 81 of the Equality Act 2006,

There are some religious exemptions in those regulations, and there was a specific time delay added to give the adoption agencies the opportunity to change their arrangements. Most of them did so successfully.

Sheila Riley
Sheila Riley
12 years ago

Hi Martin, regarding your comment “the Cabrini Children’s Society have managed to comply with the legislation with no detriment to the children or families they serve” Sadly, this is not the case. Cabrini Children’s Society have experienced a significant drop in donations since its change of name from Catholic Children’s Society. They have just announced that, due to a lack of funding, they are to close one of their three “neighbourhood projects”, namely Hubert House Community Project in Dartford, Kent. Many families will be adversely affected by this decision. The Project offered affordable childcare for working families, by way of… Read more »

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