Husband and wife kneel in prayer in front of church altar. “If our child began to question his/her own sexuality, our answers would be based on biblical perspectives,” the couple wrote in an email to Alberta Child and Family Services March 6. CNS photo/Dave Crenshaw

Edmonton couple’s adoption bid rejected because of religious beliefs, suit claims

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  • November 13, 2017
A Christian couple in Edmonton has filed a lawsuit against Alberta Child and Family Services claiming the agency denied their application to adopt due to their religious beliefs about marriage and sexuality. 

The married couple, identified in the court application filed Nov. 1 as “C.D.” and “N.D.,” believe their application was denied after Catholic Social Services (CSS) expressed concern about the couple’s ability to “support children who are questioning their sexuality.”

CSS is a Catholic social services agency that operates under the Archdiocese of Edmonton. CSS and Alberta Child and Family Services have yet to review claims made in the couple's court application.

“Our government believes that every adoptive child deserves a safe, healthy, loving and inclusive home," Aaron Manton, press secretary of the Ministry of Children's Services in Alberta, wrote in an email statement. 

"We want to ensure that, in all cases, the adoption process gives both children and parents the best possible outcomes, which is why the application process is thorough and rigorous.”

According to the affidavit, the couple was asked about their views on marriage and sexuality during a home study report in March 2017 where a CSS caseworker evaluated their ability to provide a safe home environment. 

“If our child began to question his/her own sexuality, our answers would be based on biblical perspectives,” the couple wrote in an email to Alberta Child and Family Services March 6. 

“Our hope is that by providing a stable, loving home and openly discussing our values (and reasons for them) with our children, they would want to follow our example.” 

On March 13, the couple was notified by CSS of their “non-approval” status. The affidavit states there were concerns that a “match would break down” and potentially the couple would return a child placed with them if the child struggled with their sexuality. 

“I was angry at the injustice of the situation,” C.D. stated in the court affidavit. “Despite our stability, our kindness, our dedication to helping people, despite our willingness to take a child in who needed parents, and consider him or her our own for the rest of our lives, we were being discriminated against based on our religious beliefs.”

The married couple has no children and are unable to conceive due to medical complications. 

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