Page 10, 2nd October 1970

2nd October 1970
Page 10
Page 10, 2nd October 1970 — Adoption rules eased

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Locations: London, Liverpool


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Adoption rules eased

for coloured children


CATHOLIC children's wel

fare organisations are to allow non-Catholics to adopt Catholic coloured babies because Catholics are reluctant to do so.

Fr. James Dunne, administrator of Liverpool Catholic Children's Protection Society, said last weekend that the alternative to allowing such adoptions was to put the child in an institution.

"We must recognise the right of a child to have a family life as predominant," he said. "But the Catholic population is no different from the rest of the country-there is an equal amount of ignorance of the problem and an equal amount of racial prejudice."

Fr. Dunne put the problem to Fr. Bernard Haring, the German theologian, when he was in Liverpool. He described it as "a desperate dilemma." and asked: "Do we allow a child to he brought up by a non-Catholic family prepared to accept and love him as their own. or do we let him remain in an institution?"


Fr. Haring said it posed a serious question of conscience for both priests and people, but that in the circumstances it would he right to place coloured babies with nonCatholic families, The babies concerned are mainly of mixed blood, unacceptable generally either to black or to white families. The time taken to place coloured children with Catholic couples is now three times as long as for white babies. Six months is not uncommon.

Often. because black couples are already living in overcrowded conditions, they are in any case considered unsuitable for taking additional children. London and the Midlands are particularly difficult areas.


Fr. Dunne is going to America this month to study methods of agencies there having considerable success in finding adopters for coloured babies.

Explaining his reason for going. Fr. Dunne said: "I don't think resorting to non-Catholic families is the answer. I am sure that what we have to tackle is racial prejudice.

"It is probable that our ideas of adoption are all wrong. We may have to change many of them. Adopters normally are happy if a child bears a physical resemblance to them. This kind of expectation needs altering. It has nothing to do with parenthood."

Arms sales to S. Africa opposed

THE Catholic Institute of International Relations has issued a statement strongly opposing any British arms sales to South Africa. It says such sales would be a repudiation of U.N. Security Council Resolutions. They would support the Government of South Africa in maintaining its system of Apartheid and endanger the .existence of the Commonwealth and alienate non-aligned states.

The statement urges the Government to take no further action until the Commonwealth Governments have had a full discussion at the Prime

Ministers' Conference in January 1971. It is signed by the executive committee of C.I.I.R., which includes Fr. Thomas Corbishley, S.J., and Bishop Grant of Northampton. who is also chairman of the hierarchy's Commission on International Justice and Peace.


In another statement. the C.I.I.R. World Development Committee has deplored the fact that the Ministry of Overseas Development is to be merged with the Foreign Office and the Board of Trade. The committee feels that this will finally confirm the priority of British interests over world development in the allocation of aid.

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