By Trudy Ring
Originally published on Advocate.com June 03 2014 3:52 PM ET
A Slovakian Catholic couple in the U.K., accused of child abuse and neglect, have expressed outrage that their two youngest sons have been placed for adoption with a gay couple.
The birth parents, who are of Slovak Roma (Gypsy) origin, have tried to block the adoption, but were turned down by a family court judge in late May. They now intend to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.
According to testimony, “the parents often left their children alone, leaving them unkempt and dirty, with their father admitting to regularly beating them,” reports U.K. LGBT site Pink News. The Kent County Council placed the youngest children, aged 2 and 4, with the gay couple, prompting the birth parents to appeal to the family court.
In the court, the birth parents, who by law cannot be identified in the press, claimed that the placement conflicted with their cultural values and identity, noting that Slovakia does not recognize same-sex marriage and that homosexuality goes against Roma culture and Catholic doctrine. The boys’ “Slovak roots and values will not be maintained,” they contended in court papers. “The children will not be able to be brought up in the Catholic faith because of the conflicts between Catholicism and homosexuality.” If the children attempt to reunite with their birth parents and siblings, they will suffer because of cultural conflicts, the parents said.
Senior family court judge Sir James Munby rejected the appeal, writing, “There is nothing in all the material I have seen to suggest that the children’s placement with the prospective adopters was inappropriate or wrong, let alone irrational or unlawful.” He added, “The parents’ views, whether religious, cultural, secular or social, are entitled to respect but cannot be determinative. They have made their life in this country and cannot impose their own views either on the local authority or on the court.”