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Sun May 25, 2014, 11:57 AM

Gay pair to adopt children of unfit Catholic parents

A CATHOLIC couple of Roma origin who were judged unfit to raise two of their sons have failed to block the adoption of the boys by a same sex couple in Kent.

The Slovakian couple argued in a case brought before the High Court in London that their two young children would grow up alienated from their family and community.

In what Mrs Justice Theis described as a “very sad case”, the boys – aged two and four – were put up for adoption because of concerns about the couple’s parenting.

The court heard the boys’ older siblings’ school attendance was poor, that they were left alone and “over-chastised” – the father admitted he had beaten them – and sometimes appeared dirty and unkempt.

The judge had ruled the younger boys should be adopted, for their long-term welfare.

http://freethinker.co.uk/2014/05/24/gay-couple-chosen-to-adopt-children-of-unfit-parents/


THIS will make some heads explode, for sure!

18 replies, 1989 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Gay pair to adopt children of unfit Catholic parents (Original post)
cleanhippie May 2014 OP
Warpy May 2014 #1
cleanhippie May 2014 #11
rug May 2014 #2
AtheistCrusader May 2014 #16
rug May 2014 #17
AtheistCrusader May 2014 #18
struggle4progress May 2014 #3
cleanhippie May 2014 #4
rug May 2014 #5
pinto May 2014 #6
cleanhippie May 2014 #7
pinto May 2014 #9
cleanhippie May 2014 #10
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #8
struggle4progress May 2014 #12
Warren Stupidity May 2014 #13
struggle4progress May 2014 #15
okasha May 2014 #14

Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 12:20 PM

1. It's too bad they couldn't be adopted within the Roma culture

but that culture is so closed and there is so much suspicion going both ways that it would have been impossible for outsiders to negotiate such a thing.

The next best thing is a loving home with 2 parents. The sex{es} of the parents is irrelevant. The cultural dislocation is the only bad part of this decisions.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #1)

Mon May 26, 2014, 03:17 PM

11. Yes, there were probably much better options.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 05:51 PM

2. It is very unusual to permanently separate siblings from each other.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #2)

Tue May 27, 2014, 11:19 AM

16. Less unusual than you might think.

Though, depends on what you mean by 'permanently'. At 18, we are supposed to inform our son of his biological lineage. Not really a contract, but we agreed to do it.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #16)

Tue May 27, 2014, 02:58 PM

17. Very unusual in my practice in family courts in three states.

 

If a child must be removed, by statute the preference is for kinship foster care.

The stated goal must be reunification of the family absent extreme circumstances.

Under the ASFA, if a child remains nevertheless in foster care for 15 of 24 months, the state must initiate proceedings to terminate the natural parents' parental rights. That itself is a high bar.

Then, if parental rights are terminated, the statutory preference is to keep the siblings together.

Only if all else fails are the siblings separated. Yes, it is permanent. That's why it's called termination of parental rights. What is often overlooked is that it terminates all legal relations with all members of the natural family.

As adults, the adopted children are free to seek out their natural parents, siblings and extended family. But it is purely a voluntary choice at that time. Fortunately, many states have made that task much easier by removing the seal on adoption and termination proceedings upon appropriate circumstances.

Of course, this article is about the UK, not the US.

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Response to rug (Reply #17)

Tue May 27, 2014, 03:43 PM

18. True, and my experience in the US around adoption is elective, not imposed by court protection.

I have very little insight into the foster system at all, only into elective, willing adoption processes. So there's probably quite a lot I don't know about that, ignoring the differences between US/UK law, would be VERY relevant here.

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Response to cleanhippie (Original post)

Sun May 25, 2014, 07:35 PM

3. It seems sad to treat this case as a chance for scoring points


The record, so far as I understand it, indicates that the parents were brought from Slovakia to the UK by human traffickers and there provided a limited accommodation until a local charity rescued them. In the time between, they had ten children and lived in great poverty. The mother has never learned English. The state complaint featured neglect, lack of supervision, excessive physical punishment, and limited school attendance -- all perhaps unsurprising, given the circumstances and the parents' background. The parents naturally feel that it is entirely unfair for the state to take any children from them and have advanced whatever arguments they could against such action, the argument against gay adoption being only one of several arguments

Here is a link to an earlier opinion in the case and here one to the most recent decision


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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)

Sun May 25, 2014, 09:22 PM

4. It wasn't posted to score points, it was to highlight the irony.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Sun May 25, 2014, 09:38 PM

5. There is no irony in separating children from parents and siblings.

 

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #4)

Sun May 25, 2014, 11:12 PM

6. What's the irony? The biological parents were found wanting in respect to their children.

Another couple were looking to adopt. They were found to be a good option.

That the Romani couple is nominally Catholic and the other couple gay is besides the point. The court made that clear. The decision wasn't about religion or sexuality. Nor should it have been.

I agree with the cultural aspect mentioned. I know some 3rd generation Romani - it's an insular, tight culture.

You can play the religion card or the sexuality card on this one, but you're wrong, imo.

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Response to pinto (Reply #6)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:34 AM

7. You don't see the irony of parents that subscribe to the teachings of one of the most homophobic

institutions on the planet having their kids taken by the state and being adopted by a gay couple?


Really?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #7)

Mon May 26, 2014, 11:21 AM

9. Looking from the outside, sure I get the irony. I was talking more about the judge's approach.

It seems he carefully made it not about religion or sexuality, but the children's welfare. A very secular decision. I appreciated that.

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Response to pinto (Reply #9)

Mon May 26, 2014, 12:34 PM

10. As did I. Thanks for pointing that part out.

I suppose I could have pointed that out too, but this being the Religion forum, I was keeping it narrowed to that perspective.

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #3)

Mon May 26, 2014, 10:37 AM

8. Point scoring on the positive side is ok though, right?

 

'cause there sure is a lot of that going on here.

Plus of course the endless Bad Atheist posts, although I don't see many of those anymore for some reason.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #8)

Mon May 26, 2014, 05:30 PM

12. The case may involve many different issues

The parents are Roma, from Slovakia, and were brought to the UK by human traffickers before being eventually rescued from their circumstances by the UK charity Hope for Justice, which provides assistance to victims of trafficking

So human trafficking in Europe, and especially trafficking of Roma from Slovakia to the UK, is part of the story

The Slovak Republic (or Slovakia) is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Slovak men and women are subjected to forced labor in agriculture and construction in Western Europe, primarily in the United Kingdom. Slovak children are subjected to forced criminal behavior in the United Kingdom. Slovak women are subjected to sex trafficking ... Slovak children, women, and men of Roma ethnicity are subjected to forced begging in Switzerland and other countries in Western Europe. Roma from socially segregated rural settlements were disproportionately vulnerable to human trafficking, as they were underemployed, and undereducated, due to lack of access to quality education in segregated schools. Traffickers, particularly prominent individuals in Roma communities, found victims through family and village networks, preying on individuals with disabilities or large debts ...
Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
2013 Trafficking in Persons Report
Slovak Republic




In Slovakia (and elsewhere in Europe) serious anti-Roma prejudice exists

... While ethnic minorities have a constitutional right to contribute to the resolution of issues that concern them, Roma continue to experience widespread discrimination and inequality in education, housing, employment, public services, and the criminal justice system. National policies to remedy these problems have been unsuccessful at the local level, where Roma are segregated in settlements and their children are frequently placed in special education programs or never enrolled in school. Roma face the persistent threat of racially motivated violence ...
Freedom in the World 2010 - Slovakia

Roma continued to face discrimination and violence at the hands of both state authorities and private individuals, and were still largely denied equal access to education, housing and health ... In September, the Roma Education Fund reported that the proportion of Romani children attending special schools was almost 60 per cent, and the proportion in special classes with substandard education in mainstream schools was 85.8 per cent ... The Ministry of Infrastructure and Regional Development and the municipal authority of the town of Sabinov were found to have discriminated against Roma by evicting them from municipally owned apartments in the town centre ... In October, the Ostrovany municipality began building a wall dividing the Roma settlement from the rest of the village ...
Amnesty International Report 2010 - Slovakia

Europe's 10-12 million Roma continue to face a climate of increasing violence, harassment and intimidation across the continent ... Roma continued to be targeted for ongoing evictions in .. Albania, Bulgaria, France, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and the UK ... In northern Romania, the local authorities of Baia-Mare erected a concrete wall to separate a Roma community from the rest of the town ... In Portugal, the municipality of Vidigueira destroyed the water supply of 67 Roma (including children, pregnant women and elderly people) ... After an intervention .. the authorities restored the water supply, but the reconnection was not made known to residents ... In Hungary, Roma were targeted by a far-right vigilante paramilitary group ...
State of the World's Minorities and Indigenous Peoples 2012 - Roma


Genuine issues of international law exist, but the actual stance of the Slovak authorities has been somewhat muddy:

... By the time the matter came .. for final hearing, the Slovakian central authority had been provided with the court bundle and had provided "a number of helpful written statements". In these, it confirmed that the Slovakian authority accepted the jurisdiction of the English court, provided information as to the legal and practical steps that would need to be taken if the children were sent to Slovakia, and made a "demand" that, in the event the parents could not resume care "the said children could be placed in foster care in Slovakia under Article 56" ...

... The Slovakian Central Authority (Centre for the International Legal Protection of Children and Youth) ... in their latest statement ... seek to be joined as a party to these proceedings .. <but> make it clear they do not seek to attend court ... They state ... there are no members of the S family able to take the children, so they will need to be placed in the Child Care Home pending any necessary measure directing the placement of the children into the custody of a 'surrogate family' ...

Kent County Council v IS & Ors <2013> EWHC 2308 (Fam)


The parents, in attempting to retain some say in their children's lives, finally end up trying to obtain a placement for the children in Slovakia, and a placement such that the children will retain some Roma connection. The idea that children, separated from their parents by difficult circumstances, should (if possible) be raised in a manner that leaves them connected to their heritage, is not novel to this case: it should be familiar in this forum (for example) from discussions about how Jewish children, saved from the Shoah by non-Jewish persons, were sometimes raised outside the Jewish faith. Here the parents, on appeal, seek to advance this idea by arguing that the children should be placed in Slovakia, which does not recognize same-sex marriage, and should be raised as Roma and Catholic, thus objecting to the children being placed with a same sex couple in the UK

The parents, perhaps quite naturally given their background, interpret the entire suit as motivated by anti-Roma prejudice; the social service professionals defensively retort that it is the parents themselves who are bigots; such an exchange may completely mask the actual social dynamics underlying the story

"Gay couple awarded custody of children from Catholic family" is a soundbite that apparently hides many important issues of the case from public view

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #12)

Mon May 26, 2014, 05:38 PM

13. Point scoring. Remember? Up above ^ you object to it.

 

So for example you should be all over this post: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1218132420
for attempting to score points for religion, right?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #13)

Mon May 26, 2014, 06:12 PM

15. Since I have no idea what you are trying to say, I'm inclined to regard it as blithering



Have a lovely day! Hope the weather is a pleasant there as here!

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Response to struggle4progress (Reply #12)

Mon May 26, 2014, 05:45 PM

14. I knew the Roma experienced significant

discrimination, but thanks for bringing all this together to show how bad it really is.

Why, they should just round them up and pack them off to concentration camps, er, reservations, er....

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