Catholics Don’t Let Gays Adopt. Could The “Peoria Solution” Fix That?

When Illinois legalized same-sex civil unions this last June, some Catholic adoption agencies in Chicago shut their doors and other unsuccessfully tried to sue to keep state funding while continuing to deny same-sex couples the right to adopt children, a violation of state civil union law. But the Catholic Diocese of Peoria did something different.

The Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Peoria announced last week that instead of suing, they’re gonna “transfer its staff and caseload to a new nonprofit organization with no affiliation to the Roman Catholic Church.” John Culhane at The New Civil Rights Movement has already called this approach “The Peoria Solution,” but there’s still a few unanswered questions regarding its ability to cure what ails Catholic adoption agencies.

In essence, the Diocese of Peoria has decided to abdicate its community role and hand their kids over to a “secular” entity, something that probably won’t sit well with all of the Catholic leadership, especially those who think that the church has a responsibility to give kids to Bible-approved heterosexuals.

The Catholic adoption agencies in Peoria will continue to oversee its current dockett of adoption cases until January 31st so the new non-profit organization will have time to get set up. But it remains unclear how the non-profit will get the money and infrastructure in place to start processing adoptions so quickly.

[When] the Catholic Charities in Rockford terminated its foster care services, an independent child welfare agency, Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley, stepped up to take on the 330 children and hire most of the caseworkers and support staff.

But yet again, what will help a pre-existing agency like the Youth Service Bureau of Illinois Valley with absorbing this massive increase in workers and kids? Presumably the new and pre-existing organizations would gain the state funds previously allotted to Catholic agencies, but such funds don’t automatically solve logistical issues like paperwork, storage, office space, and the mechanisms by which the adoptions will take place.

Until we hear the reaction of Catholic leadership and better understand how money and logistics play into establishing these new adoption agencies, it’s too early to tell whether the Peoria solution could provide a tenable compromise between churches and the state adoption requirements of equality states nationwide.

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  • Kurt

    Same-sex couples the have absolutely no right to adopt children.

    Neither do opposite sex couples have any right. ALL rights — 100% — so expansive as to push out any other claim of rights are with the child, not the prospective parents.

    The diocese is wrong (morally and legally) by excluding gay couples at the front end of the process. All they are being ask to do is look at each case — the particular child and the prospective parent(s) and decide if this is in the best interests of the child.

  • Parson Thwackum

    Children should not be with responsible, non-sexual predator stable gay families, they should be raised by unfit single mothers with no resources and then left with pedophile priests to be victimized. Read your catechism.

  • Hyhybt

    Unless there are so many qualified *straight* would-be adoptive parents that there are not enough children to go around, whether gay couples are as good or not is irrelevant. ANY loving, capable parents are better than none, and it’s an unconscionable evil that the Catholic church would choose no parents at all just to make the essentially political statement that the *ideal* setup would be opposite-sex parents. They chose worse over better solely on the notion that best is something that’s not always available.

    (Of course, it turns out gay couples ARE as good, but it’s still beside the point.)

  • John Culhane

    Thanks for the link and for using my suggested terminology for the solution. I’m not naive enough to think that this solution will commend itself to every diocese, but here’s what I think is going on in this case: most, or at least many, of the same people who worked at the Peoria Catholic Charity will move over. The facilities will be the same. The cases will be the same. All that’s happening is that the organization will no longer be bound by Catholic doctrine, which, as I said in my post, is anyway not consistent with what most experts in the field would consider to be the best interest of the child.

  • Pasadena, CA

    Uh…. who cares. Fuck the Catholics and every other religion. Such nonsense. How much damage will be done in the name of religion before it just fizzles away…

  • Gus

    Sounds like they want to do what they have done with the old Roman Catholic Hospitals, let’s see if they retain the ‘name.’ Like the hospitals will we have a publicly funded adoption agency ‘branded’ as RC, but is secular. Hey, I’d take the credit without any responsibility for the PR value that they are still doing this work.

  • Cam

    The situation with the CAtholics in DC probably scared the Diosys in Peoria a bit.

    The Catholics in DC demanded that the city keep funding them and yet said they didn’t have to follow any of the city laws about gays because they were a religion.

    When the city said that wouldn’t work the CAtholics threatened to shut down all their charity work in the District. All that happened was not only did the citizens in the district say, let them leave. But reports came out about just how much the church was being paid for their “Charity” work.

    Looks like they learned something from that major screw up. I wonder how long it will take the Mormons to see just how much their institutionalized bigotry is costing them.

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