Catholic Adoption Agency Will Shut Down Instead of Letting Gay Couples Adopt May 29, 2011

Catholic Adoption Agency Will Shut Down Instead of Letting Gay Couples Adopt

Illinois will begin allowing civil unions on Wednesday. It’s not gay marriage, but that’s a different debate.

Still, Catholic Charities of Rockford is so afraid that it’ll now have to place foster children in the homes of gay couples (PDF), that it’s going to shut down it’s state-funded adoption services altogether:

In Rockford, the decision could displace about 350 foster children served by Catholic Charities and put 58 employees out of work.

Without a specific provision protecting religious agencies, church officials said, the agency can’t risk losing state contracts or facing lawsuits if it turns away gay couples or others in civil unions. State funds make up about half of Catholic Charities of Rockford’s $7.5 million operating budget.

“While we understand leaving this work will be very painful for our client families, employees, volunteers, donors and prayerful supporters, we can no longer contract with the state of Illinois whose laws would force us to participate in activity offensive to the moral teachings of the church — teachings which compel us to do this work in the first place,” said Frank Vonch, director of social services for the Diocese of Rockford, which includes Kane and McHenry counties.

Yeah, that makes sense. The same people who stood idly by as priests raped little boys for decades are claiming the moral high ground… Keep in mind that the “offensive” activity they’re lashing out against is letting loving gay couples adopt kids who need parents. They’re so prejudiced against gay people that they would rather let the children suffer than to even consider that possibility. Sickening, right?

That’s religious logic for you: When a child needs a loving mother or father more than anything, and there’s a possibility of giving them two mothers or two fathers, the Church thinks they’re better off with nobody.

Benjamin Wolf, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois who represents juvenile state wards as part of a court-monitored consent decree with DCFS, said the decision was troubling, especially in Rockford where there is a high turnover of child welfare workers and racial and economic tensions.

“Rockford would not be the place I would’ve chosen to start these transitions,” Wolf said. “I am very sorry that they would give a greater priority to their commitment to continue discriminating than the health and welfare of Illinois children.”

Right on.

It’s not just Catholics. The evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family, which has made getting children adopted a priority of theirs, also doesn’t want to see a child adopted by a gay couple.

You know, if Catholic Charities of Rockford allowed children to be placed in the homes of single parents, divorced-but-remarried parents, or non-Catholic parents, it would just make their reasoning even more flawed…

… oh wait, lookie what we have here:

“We believe that children are best served by being in the home of a married couple or a single individual,” [Catholic Conference of Illinois executive director Robert Gilligan] explained. “That’s not a radical notion.”

He added that homes provided by married couples or single, committed individuals “is in the best interest of the child and quite frankly, I think society should recognize that that’s in the best interest of the child.”

Just to be clear: Married people, fine. Single people, fine. Gay couple in a committed relationship, OHMYGOD-THE-WORLD-IS-GONNA-END!

Fuckin’ Catholics. How do they work…?

(Side note: Why is Illinois even funding a Catholic adoption group? There are secular adoption agencies who could use the funding — and they don’t discriminate.)

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  • Larry Meredith

    The kids will thank them when they grow up. I’m sure when they’re older they’ll be happy they were raised in foster care rather than by two loving compassionate faggots.

  • Andrew Hall


    The Catholics decide to give up a piece of territory in our society, and that’s great. This illustrates the need for secular charities.

    What sane individual wants an organization that supports and protects pedophiles dealing with adoption? Absurd.

  • Criticism to Blame

    So… Wait…. They THINK, remember it’s an opinion, that kids should not be raised by a couple of the same gender? …and that it’s completely immoral? Not to mention the bigots that defend this choice seem to have forgotten what a moral is. There’s nothing wrong with gay adoption. Nothing in the slightest.. If a couple of the same gender wants to have a family (but can’t due to obvious circumstances), why should they NOT be allowed to? It truly is no different than if a straight couple were to adopt. People wonder why I don’t follow in the footsteps of some ‘almighty god’….

    It’s wrong to keep same gender couples from adopting, and anyone with a brain would realize that adoption clinics/centers/churches/WHATEVER have no real, justified reason to keep them away from having a family. Who is to say that they won’t raise the kid better than an average mother/father?

    The saying still holds… “Ignorance is bliss.” It is fact, and has yet to be proven wrong… So much wrong with this world. :/ ..and it only gets worse.

  • This is a great opportunity for a secular group to expand their services. Hopefully any gap will be short-lived.

  • This is good news. The Catholic church shouldn’t be in the people-moving business. Especially not when it’s moving kids.

  • I think the “married couple or committed single person” varies with each dioces. When we were first looking into adoption, I did call CSS (my husband’s a recovering Catholic). I was asked, among other things, how long I had been married, were we in fact Catholic, and if we would be willing to sign a document stating that we would raise our child as a Catholic. We passed that one up in favor of a secular, private agency.

    My daughter’s first mother had a very bad experience with CSS in a different dioces. I can’t speak to the specifics, but she did have 5 different social workers in the 6 weeks she dealt with them. It makes us both wish that CSS would move away from adoption all together.

  • Why is this even legal in this country? A religion in charge of adoptions in AMERICA?

  • Hypatia’s Daughter

    “…teachings which compel us to do this work in the first place,”

    Yes, it is very nice that many religions teach that god requires good works and acts of charity.
    But they are YOUR good works, a small sacrifice YOU make to serve god. Churches should be using member contributions to pay for these good works – not taxes.
    One (amongst many) reasons I think that the Faith Based Initiatives is wrong, wrong wrong.

  • Steve

    Just like in MA this comes from the diocese rather than the adoption agency itself. It’s not like they are staffed by priests and nuns. In MA, the agency was in fact already dealing with gay couples (and such adoptions had been legal there for a long time), yet the diocese still decided to throw a tantrum.

    This is no big loss. Actually it is a very good thing. The children and some of the staff will be taken over by other agencies. There are plenty of them

  • They did the same thing in MA several years ago. It was just as I was starting to seriously consider leaving the Catholic church (I mean, more than just my usual nonattendance) and starting the process of adoption. The two are strongly related – when it’s just my husband and me as adults, our Catholic heritage just seems darkly ironic. But add a kid into the picture, and the humor disappears quickly.

    Anyway, we made some snide comments about Catholic Charities taking their bat and ball and going home, and happily found a secular agent. We found out that most church-based adoption agencies here do hardly any of their own work anyway. They work through DSS or other agencies and then charge you just one more fee for their somewhat redundant services. I guess it’s nice for adopting church members to have a church-based advocate during the process, but it’s certainly not necessary.

  • Mr Ed

    I’m fairly certain that there is some sort of conservative cup. Each group one upping themselves trying to be more fundamental than the next.

    In my misguided youth I though religious organizations had it easy, always do the moral thing regardless of the worldly implications. Now I watch various religious groups act like amoral, sociopathic, corporations; what can we spin, what will fill seats, what will make the biggest buck. If I wasn’t an atheist I would surely be disgusted by the sham of organized religion.

  • Kent Schlorff

    Before I graduated a few weeks ago, my theology teacher at my Catholic high school was explaining this. Her reasoning went no deeper than what our observations have already shown: homosexual people who don’t have a sense of misplaced identity and want to adopt children don’t deserve to. So, we’ve progressed from burning and killing homosexuals to just excluding them from fundamental social rights.
    I had fun destroying her logic.

  • Jim

    And yet , the pope won’t let people use condoms ; only gays and lesbians can . Not forgetting his priests use them on boys .

  • Rich Hugunine

    The more distance between the Catholic Church (or ANY church) and the government the BETTER!
    I’m sorry folks will lose their jobs, but I’m not sorry the church will lose its influence in this sphere.

  • David Waldock

    The Catholic adoption agency in the UK also shut down rather than provide services.

  • Mr Z

    Everyone agrees here that this is a good thing that the Church has decided to stop this bit of oppression in this one state. One even used the phrase “moved away from adoption” and I have to say that none of this goes far enough or really states the situation clearly enough.

    For years the Catholic church has been abusing children, brainwashing children and adults alike into their cult, asserting influence on our public servants, and all so they can claim a position of authority to enable them to oppress those they do not like. The Catholic Church and others like it are a cesspit of the worst that humanity offers society. It should have been forcefully carved or culled away from ‘normal’ society many decades ago.

    That it is finally happening is a breath of fresh air. Should they want to crawl back into a position of influence regarding children I’m all for prison terms, broken fingers, and passing laws to make it illegal for churches to do so. They have worn out their welcome. We need to make sure they understand that.

    Yes, on a Sunday there is a bit of reverse bigotry for you. The reality is that we are an advanced society and no longer have room for superstition based bigotry and oppression of marginalized groups. Only cooperative understanding that the church (any of them) are sources of evil, a cancer on society will cause society to move away from it. With that understanding we need to be very loud and clear about mocking religion. The headlines should read “child rapists no longer want to run adoption agencies”

    Yes, sounds like an Onion headline. 65% of the story should be about the church hiding rapists, then tell the story of how they feel they can’t work with non-heterosexual families. Even that short description shows the absolute absurdity of the church having any involvement with adoption in the first place.


  • Sarah

    This makes me sick. Literally – my stomach is churning.

  • Jon Peterson

    …force us to participate in activity offensive to the moral teachings of the church…

    You mean like kicking 350 children out of their homes? Oh wait… THAT’S NOT IMMORAL.
    (Massive sarcasm quotes.)

    Loving the sneaky ICP reference at the end, btw.

  • Dantist89

    Feel the Christian love. Seems to me that the only reason that they are motivated to do good, is that they think that the great Eye in the Sky is watching them all the time. In this case, their motivation doesn’t stem from empathy or the desire to alleviate suffering, but from fear and blind obedience. It really does beg the question: Is Christian morality THE absolute morality? Or is it just a load of bullshit they delude themselves into thinking. I do charity work not because I think that the Magical Sky Daddy will reward me with Heaven, but because I just can’t bear the thought of me sitting comfortably on my ass all day while there is so much pain and anguish in the world. I have too much pride (a deadly sin btw) to stoop to that level. I know there is no afterlife, no Heaven or Hell. The only way to achieve true immortality is to live on in the memories and gratitude of the future generation. THAT is why I am compelled to make a difference in my life.

  • Valerie

    Other than being outraged at their “morals,” I’m furious that they’re getting money from the state. I wonder what was being cut (education?) so these clowns could get millions to force their beliefs on others and to stop children from being in loving homes because the church doesn’t approve.

  • Heidi

    Good. Any other areas these folks want to bow out of to avoid supporting equality?

  • Annie

    Ummm… someone should really tell the catholic church that a large number of their nuns are lesbians, and I am sure there is more than one gay priest out there too. So it’s OK for a woman who is a lesbian to be “married” to god, but it would be immoral for her to raise a baby in a loving home with a female partner?

    I agree with others above- thank goodness they are getting out of the adoption business. Using state or federal money to demand people raise their children in the catholic church is bad enough.

  • Michael

    Whoever ended up running that agency really didn’t care about children nearly as much as using children to push their beliefs.

  • Steve

    The agencies themselves are fairly secular and mostly staffed by trained full-time or contract personnel. In some ways it’s not unlike the Red Cross, which really has nothing to do with Christianity.

    It was the diocese that made this decision. Not the adoption agency itself.

  • PJB863

    Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago exited the adoption business in 2007. The stated reason was high insurance and liability expenses. Now the Diocese of Rockford decides, on the eve of civil unions becoming legal in IL, that they cannot continue in the adoption business. This looks REAL suspicious – like maybe they’ve been planning to get out of this business for awhile, but waited until now to make a political statement.

    The Chicago experience was that the caseworkers and their clients transferred to secular agencies – it was pretty much transparent to the clients. Obviously a lot less strings attached too.

  • JB

    My first thought: (-nose)(face)*spite
    I expect other sources will take up the cause, so in the long run, this is a Good Thing (TM).

  • JD

    I don’t think any faith-based organization has any business expecting government money for anything. Especially this business of contractually demanding folks to raise the adoptee into the religion.

  • Liz

    Fuckin’ Catholics. How do they work…?

    They don’t. It’s offensive to their moral teachings.

  • Go-ahead Catholic Charities of Rockford; take your balls and go home.

  • Last year in DC the Catholic Charities decided they were going to shut down rather than follow the law that they couldn’t discriminate in accepting volunteers to help with the homeless efforts. Rather than give some gay people the opportunity to do a very nice thing for homeless folks, they wanted to shut down their services.

  • Richard Wade

    Hey, Catholic Charities of Rockford, don’t go away mad, just go away. And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

    Good riddance. This will free up public funding for organizations that do the same service without the surcharge of bigotry.

    Their thinking is so fossilized that if they were to sit still for just 20 minutes, they’d turn to sandstone. They’ll be an exhibit in the Natural History Museum.

  • Steve

    So… I guess they could place those kids with ‘single’ priests??? Maybe it is not enough for them to have their knuckles whacked at catholic school all day – they could be placed with a few single nuns?
    The whole problem is an amoral 2000 year old religious bureaucracy
    blowing smoke to hide it own hypocrisy.

  • John

    Catholic Charities in Springfield is NOT like that. Just sayin’, that this is just talking about ROCKFORD.

  • Ben

    The Catholic Church here in Australia threatened to do exactly the same thing, only they also threatened to shut down other charitable activities like feeding the poor.

    Sad thing is, they won. Except, there are no secular adoption agencies, so while the government says “gays can adopt” they also say “religion can discriminate against gays”, which rules out adoption anyway.

    All because the state got into the habit of abrogating their social and moral responsibilities to the church.

    Makes me sick.

  • Cheryl Smith – Young

    Well I too am glad that this is coming to an end for many reasons. I would just like to say that my partner and I have raised 5 beautiful children of which 2 are married with our 8 grandchildren one is single and one is in a 2year commited holy union, the other is in a committed relationship. Might I alos add that I too worked in the counseling field of children who had been removed from their homes for various reasons some which were sexual abuse but by their own parents or other family members that were not GAY! Imagine that… So please give these children a chance at a loveing, caring home to live in and call their own.

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    “We believe that children are best served by being in the home of a married couple or a single individual,” [Catholic Conference of Illinois executive director Robert Gilligan] explained. “That’s not a radical notion.”

    So, just allow same-sex marriage and it will all be great.

  • Levtiy

    Well, I can see straight off that this stems from the ignorant belief that gay people are pedophiles and perverts.

    We all know that Catholics put their religion above the welfare of helpless children, and this just goes to show how little they truly care for the children they have been ‘helping’. Seems like the adoption agency has been a way to coerce more believers from America. I’m glad that it’s closed and I sincerely hope the children find a new home.

  • Radical Reverend

    Why is it that our current culture believes that EVERYONE should accept homosexuality? And when the Catholics or any other entity for that matter voices a strong opinion against it, they are automatically considered biggots or gay bashers etc.? Have you really come to this extreme in your Gay Agenda?

    Even atheisits must have some sense of what is right versus wrong and using this issue to slam the Church is even low for you! This clearly shows your double standard. You as atheists want to be heard all the time about your hate for the Church and God and while we as a church don’t agree with your views, we respect them nonetheless, because that is what freedom in the U.S. is all about. Honestly, do you ever see the Church calling you names like you did in this original post “Friendly Atheist”?

    I guess you are as ignorant as ever to call yourself friendly and then spew a bunch of vile and blatant attack language in your closing sentence. Bravo! That is a prime example of what is wrong with this country!

    I’d also like to bring up the fact that this whole effort of the gay agenda backfired in their face! They thought they were going to be able to force our churches to accept and perform this service by using a political or governmental hand upon it. It ain’t gonna happen folks and this is why you saw the Church tell IL , “Keep your money, we will continue to do this on our own without your agenda being thrown in our face!” You should all be glad now because your IL adoption agencies, which are so over run with non carring people just looking for a check, will now be totally slammed and not be able to breath as a result of this. Basically, Friendly Atheist, even you should have a little class and accept someone else’s right to be heard…….

  • a mama who knows

    This is great news, ’cause guess what? Catholic adoption agencies were doing disservice to birth mothers as well. Much better if a more tolerant, humane and open-minded agency do this work.

  • dogon3

    The only thing a gay couple lacks for a child is its ability to offer a sexual role model. If the children happen to be straight, they may need some outside help in learning how to attract the opposite sex and how to be content in a hetero relationship.

  • Dave

    As I read through comments I can see a real difference between religious and nonreligious people. No one here is using hateful words or disparaging large groups of people based on anecdotal evidence or worse yet simple prejudice. No you guys are surely better than those Catholics. Everybody pat yourself on the back now. I mean seriously Martin Luther King, the freedom riders, heck most of the civil rights movement and by proxy some of the movements it helped to spark were really just a bunch of religious idiots. You really are so much better than mother Theresa or any other Catholic person in history, Francis of Assisi has nothing on you guys and all the love you have shown on this board. Truly amazing. Round of Applause. Bonhoeffer eat your heart out right right.

  • guest

    your absurd

  • The Good Days

    To be quite honest back before the early 80’s when homosexuality wasn’t such the agenda as it is today and racial equality wasn’t such the agenda it has been since Obamas election. The world was a more friendly comfortable place to live. You can keep your PC political agenda. Racism, hate, and militant attitudes are the tools to promote your liberal agendas. 

  • The Good Days

    Nothing more than a foul potshot from a writer promoting anti-Catholic behavior way more than secular behavior. A fine example of hate spewed from 180 degree opposing thought. Only ultra left wing low lives would respect the author anymore for his foul language which adds little to the “Friendly” values of this atheist.

  • guest

    if you want to get logical its proves that some kids raised in the homes of homosexuals communitcate better with people than those who were raised in the homes of heterosexuals.

  • mae

    Catholic Dr. makes sure that a child born to a non Catholic and given  up for adoption is given to a Catholic couple.

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