Creative Destruction

October 24, 2007

Presented Without Comment

Filed under: Human Rights,LGBT Issues — Robert @ 11:11 am

Foster parents to 28 forced to resign.

They are Christian and do not want to tell their foster charges that homosexuality is an acceptable lifestyle, which is apparently required by new UK government parenting guidelines for foster families. (Edited to add: the family is not fostering 28 children at the same time. They have, in the past, fostered 27 kids and are currently fostering one, an 11-year old boy who has been with them for the past two years. That boy will be removed from their care this coming Friday, and will go to a “council hostel”, which I assume is the rough equivalent of an orphanage for kids of his age.)



  1. The headline is somewhat misleading, as it makes it look like the foster family was overextended or that a virtual orphanage was shut down in one fell swooop.

    The 28 kids were cared for over more six years. It appears that currently they have only one child, an eleven year old, in their care, and that the children’s stays were for periods of, on average, several months at a time.

    The government policy requiring tolerance for gay rights in foster families alienated a couple performing what is necessarily a mix of a job and personal charity out of who knows how many such families in the country. It certainly wouldn’t be the first or the last time that government policieis have alienated a foster family or two.

    Comment by ohwilleke — October 24, 2007 @ 4:39 pm | Reply

  2. is the boy gay? if the foster son were gay, i can understand having to take him to gay fuzzy wuzzy parties.

    are we talking about the u.k.? i love the u.k., but i don’t go around messy with other countries’ laws, as tempting as it is even when the lawmakers themselves are lawless. we’re not talking about the government gunning down civilians for dissent.

    Comment by greywhitie — October 24, 2007 @ 5:09 pm | Reply

  3. It doesn’t really seem to me that the kids will end up better off because of this sort of thing. If they’ve fed them, given them a warm bed, and aren’t either abusive or negligent, it seems like the fact that they won’t endorse homosexuality doesn’t exactly make them worse than an orphanage (or “council hostile”, as the case may be).

    Comment by Adam Gurri — October 24, 2007 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

  4. Is the state’s interest in governing the ideology of those who raise kids in the state’s care sufficient to warrant the burden placed on a child who is taken from foster care and put into a substitute institution?

    Imagine the foster parents were promoting racism: would the state have an interest then? If so, then I don’t see grounds to object here.

    Whereas the state generally should not engage in viewpoint regulation, the state cannot help but engage in viewpoint regulation — by design or by default — when it assigns a kid to a foster family. The fact that foster parents in general may represent a wide range of views is of little consolation to any specific child who is being reared by a specific set of parents. So it’s a tough call. Government impartiality often falls apart in domestic situations; family court judges appear to rule on the basis of raw convention and stereotype.

    That said, I’m not sure I see a powerful state interest in controlling the ideology of foster parents. Maybe the state has an interest in keeping kids from parents that promote coercion or fraud against the state or its citizens. Other than that, I suspect the ideological litmus test does more harm than good.

    Comment by nobody.really — October 24, 2007 @ 8:51 pm | Reply

  5. I agree that it’s a strange, even counter-intuitive step to take to remove a child or children from foster parents who don’t toe the government line on a given issue. A lot of gray space exists on any issue, so treating this one particular issue (endorsement or repudiation of homosexuality) as a litmus test seems preposterous. But then, so would almost any other issue.

    For instance, from the perspective of an atheist, does compulsory attendance at church qualify as an uncrossable line? What if the church is Wiccan, or Jewish, or Pentecostal rather than mainstream Christian, or even just a little fundamentalist?

    I’m glad I don’t have to make these calls. They’re going to be unpopular in either direction.

    Comment by Brutus — October 24, 2007 @ 11:42 pm | Reply

  6. Imagine the foster parents were promoting racism: would the state have an interest then? If so, then I don’t see grounds to object here.

    Sorry, I don’t buy categorical arguments such as this one.

    Nor does it particularly apply to this case–the parents weren’t “promoting” any attitude on homosexuality at all, one way or the other; what they were being punished for is not agreeing to actively discuss and support a belief that homosexuality is ok.

    I’d even find it more appropriate if they’d had to sign something saying they weren’t allowed to speak against homosexuality; but taking away their ability to foster parent because they won’t speak for it just seems extreme.

    Brutus: you make a good point, and I’m glad I don’t have to make these calls, either.

    Comment by Adam Gurri — October 25, 2007 @ 6:58 am | Reply

  7. One reason to object to this couple and those like them as foster parents is that their care may prevent children from being adopted into stable, permanent homes. I’m not sure of this couple’s opinion, but another Christian who was struck off the list mentioned that he would be unwilling to allow a foster child in his care to be adopted by a loving, stable, gay couple (or single parent). This is obviously not in the child’s best interest.

    Comment by Dianne — October 25, 2007 @ 2:08 pm | Reply

  8. Adam: you make a good point, and I’m glad Brutus doesn’t have to make these calls, either. 🙂

    Comment by nobody.really — October 25, 2007 @ 2:41 pm | Reply

  9. the u.k. has some strange laws, but so does the u.s. and some other countries. taken from bottom of article on,

    Dead whales

    The UK’s top 10 most ridiculous British laws were listed as:

    # 1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27%)

    # 2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down (7%)

    # 3. It is illegal for a woman to be topless in Liverpool except as a clerk in a tropical fish store (6%)

    # 4. Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned (5%)

    # 5. If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and requires the use of your toilet, you are required to let them enter (4%)

    # 6. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet (4%)

    # 7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5%)

    # 8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3%)

    # 9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour (3%)

    # 10. It is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (2%)

    False teeth

    Other bizarre foreign laws voted by those polled included:

    # In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk (9%)

    # In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation (8%)

    # A male doctor in Bahrain can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror (7%)

    # In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself standing up after 10pm (6%)

    # It is illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle in Alabama (6%)

    # In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed (6%)

    # Women in Vermont must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth (6%)

    # In Milan, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits (5%)

    # In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon (4%)

    Comment by greywhitie — November 6, 2007 @ 9:45 pm | Reply

  10. correct link for above should be (without comma)

    Comment by greywhitie — November 6, 2007 @ 9:46 pm | Reply

  11. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet

    Note to self: Visit Britain if ever pregnant again. But not Ireland.

    Comment by Dianne — November 7, 2007 @ 4:36 pm | Reply

  12. “It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament.”

    What are they going to do if you die in the HP? Drag your dead body to a jail cell and let you rot there for life?

    Comment by greywhitie — November 8, 2007 @ 10:06 am | Reply

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