Tuesday, 1 July 2014

"Produced" Children Have Right to Know Their Origins (!!!)

The Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan (pictured), has recommended that children produced via egg and sperm donation and/or surrogacy be given the right to know their origins.

The recommendations is one of a number contained in a response to the Government’s proposed Children and Family Relationships Bill. However, in other respects the report from Ombudsman takes the same permissive approach to Assisted Human Reproduction as the General Scheme of the Bill itself.

With respect to the right of a donor-conceived child and/or a child born of a surrogate mother, the Ombudsman recommends: “The General Scheme should be amended to provide for the gathering, retention and disclosure of information to people born through assisted reproduction and surrogacy regarding their birth and origins.”

The Ombudsman supports so-called ‘altruistic’ surrogacy but is opposed to commercial surrogacy. However, while it believes that criminal sanctions should exist to discourage commercial surrogacy, it soften this by recommending: “The General Scheme should also provide for the legal consequences that arise for children born as a result of such arrangements; however, the Ombudsman for Children’s Office does not believe that declarations of parentage should be denied where this would leave the child born as a result of a commercial surrogacy arrangement in a vulnerable legal position.”

The report of the Ombudsman only mentions marriage in passing and does not uphold the right of a child to be raised by a mother and a father whenever possible.

Also, while it believes that children have a right to know their origins, it does not believe they have a right to be raised by those parents as a matter of principle and whenever possible.

The Children and Family Relationships Bill is intended to create parenting rights for those who use Assisted Human Reproduction techniques to have children. It also provides for adoption by same-sex couples.

Legal parenting rights in respect of Assisted Human Reproduction (AHR) are to be given to single men and women, cohabiting couples and same-sex couples. Marriage is given no special place in the General Scheme of the Bill despite the Constitution.

In Germany, only married couples can access AHR services. Surrogacy of every kind is banned as is egg donation.

Article from the Iona Institute

PM David Cameron Boasts About Redefining Marriage

Has the Prime Minister got nothing better to do? Is he bored or something? Is it just me, or is it a little strange that he seems so preoccupied with what? 1.5% of the country's population?

From Coalition4Marriage:

David Cameron has trumpeted his Government’s ‘huge, historic’ redefinition of marriage. His most recent video message, filmed to mark Pride in London, is a slap in the face to ordinary people who sincerely believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Our rights will be infringed.

If you want to see our Prime Minister at his most passionate – boasting of redefining marriage, and his willingness to use taxpayers' hard-earned money to promote same-sex marriage abroad – watch this.

Civil liberty not protected

David Cameron has brushed off concerns that people will be damaged in their careers, businesses or in their dealings with the public sector because of their support for traditional marriage.
The Coalition for Marriage has heard of a case where adoption proceedings were halted merely because of a couple's belief in traditional marriage. Although legal intervention eventually helped to resolve the issue, the need for clearer civil liberty protections is obvious.
When it comes to same-sex marriage, the Prime Minister has strongly opposed conscience rights for public employees or the self-employed.
But even the Deputy President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale, now questions the laws which go further than required by the EU. She has argued that Parliament should look at a reasonable accommodation law. This could better protect owners of B & Bs, wedding planners, florists, or wedding-cake bakers who conscientiously object to same-sex marriage. The Government opposes this idea which works well in many other countries.

Contact your MP today

Please email your MP.

Use your own words
Say the Government is ignoring people like you who believe in traditional marriage.
If you voted Conservative at the last election, say so.
Use two or three points below in your own words.
Ask your MP to:

  • Tell the Prime Minister that rather than promoting gay marriage around the world, he should do more to protect the rights of those who disagree with his legislation. 
  • Press the Government for a reasonable accommodation law, like that proposed by Lady Hale from the Supreme Court. 
  • Accept there are real concerns that people who support traditional marriage will be damaged in their careers. What about their rights? 
  • Tell David Cameron he should protect married couples who want to foster or adopt children. They shouldn’t be required to back gay marriage as part of the interview process. 
  • Press for changes in legislation so that self-employed people who believe in traditional marriage should no longer be fined and punished because of their beliefs.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Church cannot stand aside in debates about the family says Archbishop Martin

The Church cannot stand aside in debates about the family, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told a conference on the family organised by the Catholic hierarchy ahead of October’s Synod on the family in Rome.

Referring to the ongoing debates on the family, he said: “The Church cannot stand aside from these important debates about the defence of the family as a fundamental institution within society. At times, as with all ideological debates, the debates become acrimonious and very often it is the Church which is then portrayed as being the cause of such acrimony and of inflaming public debate.

We need to keep that debate going, but we must do so in a way in which we build a wide, broad consensus about the family.”

He said that since the end of World War II a philosophy of individual rights and freedom had arisen which had in some ways helped the family because the family often made the father the dominant figure and put women and children in second place.

He added: “There was however an individualism which looked on the family as having predominantly negative effects on the rights of individuals. The family, it was said, was oppressive; the family had to be redesigned and redefined.”

Referring to his own time negotiating at UN conferences on the family, he said: “I remember well the ideological battles at international conferences in which I, as the lead negotiator for the Holy See, became involved with some of the more liberal States of the European Union. They were difficult and at times fraught negotiations. At times the polemics were strong and the Vatican was categorized as being worse than fundamentalists, defending unreal ideological positions.”

He challenged the Church to “foster that new culture of mutuality in marriage in a world where individualism reigns. When we talk of marriage and the family as being at the heart of the parish, we must look more clearly at what the Church can do for families and for the concept of stable and fulfilling marriage.”

The conference took place in Clonliffe College on Saturday.

Archbishop Martin's talk in full can be found here.

Court overrules couple who don’t want their children adopted by same-sex couple

But Sir James Munby ruled that the children’s “welfare needs” outweighed the “impact that adoption would have on their Roma identity.”

According to the website of family lawyer Marilyn Stowe, the case concerned two boys, ‘J’, aged four, and ‘S’, who will turn two in July. Their ‘Roma’ parents come from the Slovak Republic. They were brought to West Yorkshire by traffickers and initially lived in “cramped” bed and breakfast accommodation.

Social services became involved and eventually their five youngest children were made the subject of care proceedings. The local authority applied for care orders for the four youngest, plus an order which would place for the oldest, aged 15, under its supervision for 12 months. In addition, they sought ‘placement orders’ for the two youngest, J and S, putting them in the care of prospective adopters.

When it became apparent that the children would be placed with a same-sex couple, the parents sought to block the adoption, accusing Kent County Council of a "conscious deliberate effort ... to transform our children from Slovak Roma children to English middle-class children" and argued that if the adoption went ahead it would cause their children psychological harm in the future. After an unsuccessful appeal to the European Court of Human rights, the case came before Sir James Munby at the High Court.

“Our family is a Slovak Roma family and we are practising Catholics and a homosexual couple as potential adopters... will not promote the children’s Roma heritage or their Catholic faith … Whilst we have no doubt that the prospective adopters have been properly assessed by the Local Authority, they are a homosexual couple and as such their lifestyle goes against our Roma culture and lifestyle.”

Christian Concern CEO Andrea Williams commented: "We do not know all the details as to why adoption was deemed necessary, but leaving that aside, this case raises profound concerns. Why is it not possible to accommodate the beliefs of the natural parents and act in the best interests of the children? Why are these beliefs about marriage, which the government claims are protected, being trampled on?

"It is causing great present distress to the parents and, as they have outlined, is likely to cause great distress to the children in the future. Why not seek adoptive parents who share the beliefs of these parents?"

Britain's most senior family court judge has ruled against a Slovakian Catholic couple seeking to block the adoption of two of their children by a same-sex couple.

In a witness statement, the couple said that being placed with a same-sex couple would not be in the children's best interests, as they would not be able to fully “promote the children's Roma heritage or their Catholic faith”.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Media Mis-represents the Pope on SSM

Today, NOM Blog reports on the furore surrounding a report that the Pope has "Called for Catholic Church Re-think on Gay Parents", as reported, for example, here.

The remarks come from a recently published conversation with the leaders of certain religious orders, by a Jesuit journal on Friday. In it, Pope Francis called for the Church to reevaluate the way in which children in difficult circumstances are engaged through catechesis and evangelisation.
As children of same-sex couples were mentioned, the media of course went into its full spin cycle, with "Italian media on Sunday [running] headlines saying the pope's words were an opening to legal provisions for civil unions for gay couples" [SOURCE].

However, the Vatican's Press Secretary called these reports "a 'manipulation' of the Pope's words," and said that the Pope was "alluding to the suffering of children" and how the Church addresses those sufferings.

Indeed, far from a softening of the Church's stance against redefining marriage, the Pope's remarks reaffirm that the Church recognises the children raised in such abnormal circumstances as disadvantaged and indeed even "suffering" a violation of their fundamental right to enjoy the love of both a mother and a father. There is nothing new in the Pope's teachings, therefore, but simply a call to reemphasise the need of such children to be approached with compassion and clarity, lest they feel alienated and are further victimised when the situations in which they are raised are no fault of their own.

But don't wait for the mainstream media to present you with that angle, or you'll be waiting a very long time.