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August 19th, 2010 - PRESS STATEMENT : 18th August 2010


The Charity Commission for England and Wales announced today that it had refused the application of Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) to amend its charitable objects to permit it to continue its adoption work in accordance with the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church.

Whilst the application made by Catholic Care would have had the effect of limiting its adoption services to heterosexual prospective adoptive parents, the Charity considers that it is in the public interest that the Charity continues to support children in need of adoption.

Earlier this year the High Court agreed with the Charity that the law did permit the Catholic Care to take this approach. The Court considered that weighty reasons supported the use of the exemption from sexual orientation discrimination laws.

The Charity Commission held that the reasons put forward by the Charity did not meet the necessary threshold. The Charity is very disappointed with this decision as in the view of the Charity this will reduce the number of people recruited as adoptive parents.

 A spokesperson for Catholic Care said:

‘The Charity is very disappointed with the outcome. Catholic Care will now consider whether there is any other way in which the Charity can continue to support families seeking to adopt children in need.

In any event, Catholic Care will seek to register as an adoption support agency offering a service to those who were adopted in the past and are now seeking information about their background, and also to support adoptive parents already approved by Catholic Care.'


Catholic Care is the social care organisation of the Diocese of Leeds. Catholic Care acts to support all those in need of its services, especially people experiencing disadvantage and poverty, and it acts as an advocate for those unable to represent themselves.

Catholic Care has been providing specialist adoption services for over 100 years, helping hundreds of children and families. Through the recruitment, assessment, training and provision of support for prospective adoptive parents as well as by offering on-going and post-adoption support to families, Catholic Care has assisted in the provision of security and love for some of the most vulnerable children in our society.

Catholic Care was advised by Bircham Dyson Bell LLP and queries around the legal issues relatingto this matter should be directed to the firm.  Please contact: Benjamin James on 020 7783 3554 or Matthew Davies on 020 7783 3445.

Mission and Values
Catholic Care is a charitable organisation working on behalf of the diocese of Leeds. It offers a variety of services and support not only to the Catholic population, but also to the wider community as a whole.

Catholic Care acts to support those in need of its services, especiallly the weak and the vunerable and it acts as an advocate for those unable to represent themselves

The primary purpose of the agency is to foster and influence a vision of how people can live together in Christian charity, love and justice, by taking the "Caring Church into the Community

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