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'Christians shouldn't be put off adopting'
CHRISTIANS thinking of adoption are being told not to fear political correctness in the application process.
The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Rev John Pritchard, has backed the new scheme urging Oxfordshire Christians not to be put off by the rigorous vetting process.
It comes after a Christian couple from Derby were last year told they could not be foster carers as they strongly opposed homosexuality.
And a survey in June by the Evangelical Alliance showed about a quarter of Christians thought their beliefs would be used against them.
There are currently 440 children in the county awaiting an adopted or foster home.
As a part of the new move, 12 county churches will run a special service on Sunday dedicated to adoption. If successful, the Adoption Sunday services – spearheaded by the Evangelical Alliance and Care for the Family – could run nationwide next year.
Bishop John last night said: “Through Adoption Sunday, Christian parents stand to make a life-changing contribution to the many children who are not in a permanent and loving family home.
“The Church must approach this initiative with confidence but it is currently being held back by a climate of fear founded on the assumption that a Christian’s world view is somehow not conducive to the wellbeing of a child.
“If this falsehood continues, it will hold back a common desire by all faiths to see thousands of children accepted and brought up in loving family homes.”
Krish Kandiah, Evangelical Alliance’s executive director for churches in mission, adopted a young girl five years ago with his wife Miriam.
The South Oxfordshire family has also fostered eight children.
Mr Kandiah, 40, said: “People are nervous about the process being long-winded and difficult.
“But it’s all about the protection of the children. We should be willing to go through that for the sake of the kids. It’s a difficult process but it’s worth it to safeguard the children. Our experience has been fantastic.”
David Holmes, chief executive of the British Association for Adoption & Fostering, said Christian families were desirable applicants. He said: “Christian parents should be made welcome.
“We desperately need more people who are really motivated to change children's lives for good.”
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