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Friday, 30 January 2009 23:33

Enough Is Enough: Will You Be Counted And Act Today?

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his week the Daily Mail here and here and the Daily Telegraph here report how Edinburgh Social Services rejected an application by a couple to adopt their own grandchildren because, at 46 and 59, they were deemed too old. Instead Social Services chose to have the children, who have been with foster carers for two years, adopted by complete strangers. It is awful enough the state has the power to block adoptions by immediate family members and home them with complete strangers (how on earth did we stand by and let it happen?), but this story gets worse, much much worse. In fact, it is tragic.

After fighting against the adoption in the courts, the grandparents faced crippling financial losses and eventually conceded defeat on the condition the two children were adopted by a husband and wife. Instead, Edinburgh Social Services decided to home the children with a gay couple, even though several heterosexual couples were available to adopt and social workers admit the little girl is wary of men. How spiteful, just because the grandparents wanted their grandchildren to be brought up within a traditional family. When the grandparents reacted against this decision, they were told to accept it or face not seeing their grandparents again. By keeping quiet and accepting the Council decision visits twice a year might (might!) be extended to the grandparents.

How did we ever reach this stage in our society? Why did we sit by and let it happens? And make no mistake, there are countless such stories in the UK, I come across them all the time. The power of the state is truly scary, and frankly once on Social Services radar it seems no parent is safe from having their children taken from them and put in care. The only way of fighting it is through the highly secretive family courts which grind very slowly. Even if parents win a case it can take several years, during which their children are being cared for by complete strangers. A heartbreaking case recently involved one couple who won their case in the family courts after being falsely accused of child abuse, but because it had taken so long for a judgment to be made the child was deemed to be settled with their foster carers, who were allowed to adopt.

The question is, what can we do about it, and more importantly will we? I suggest this story could - could - become a watershed moment, but only if we choose to act and do so with determination. We currently have a weak government which is acutely concerned about public opinion, and I suggest a massive letter writing campaign drawing attention to this tragic case might well provoke a reaction and intervention from the government, but only if enough people write Gordon Brown and his government. I, for one, will be writing him on behalf of the college, and will get as many ministry colleagues to do likewise. Meanwhile, I encourage the several thousand readers of this blog to write also, and get your church to become involved also. A groundswell of protest within a week of this story’s publication is what is needed. I will also be writing to Opposition leaders to see if they will challenge the government on this. Write your MP and ask for it to be raised in Parliament. Everyone wants your vote at what will be a hotly contested General Election, so let them know your views.

Be clear on the issues, namely, the state’s right to interfere to this degree, their taking away of children from their immediate family, their decision to adopt the children with a gay couple on ideological grounds, despite several heterosexual couples being willing to adopt, and the apparent threat to stop the grandchildren from seeing their grandparents again.

Enough is enough. The question is, are we ready to be counted and act today? Consider, one day it could be your children they take away. After all, they’ve already stopped adoptions by some Christian couples.

Calvin L. Smith, Ph.D.
Principal and Tutor of Theology
King's Evangelical Divinity School
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Faculty Page: www.kingsdivinity.org/about/faculty-calvin-smith

Editor, Evangelical Review of Society and Politics

Blog: www.calvinlsmith.com
Personal Site: www.calvinsmith.org

Read 4261 times Last modified on Tuesday, 29 November 2011 07:10