Pope Francis has contacted the Bishop of Malta, urging him to fight a bill that would allow same-sex couples to engage in civil unions and adopt children, the Times of Malta reports. Bishop Charles Scicluna of Malta reported that Pope Francis spoke with him and was “shocked” by the bill. Gay marriage and adoption by gay couples is currently illegal in Malta.
Pope Francis has proven to be a polarizing figure within the Catholic community and the greater international community. He turned heads as a candidate for the position due to his views on charity and humility. Revelations that he took the bus exclusively while serving as Archbishop of Buenos Aires served to bolster his credibility as a humble Jesuit priest. He even took a softer stance on gay rights and, arguably, sin itself. LGBT news magazine The Advocate quoted Pope Francis as saying, “Who am I to judge a gay person of goodwill who seeks the Lord?” And one questionable reporter said that Francis has abolished sin, a stance that has been strongly refuted by the Catholic Church.
The Pope’s opposition to Malta’s gay rights bill is just the latest in a long string of hostile acts by the Catholic Church toward the homosexual community. As Malta attempts to establish more rights for same-sex couples, here in the US, gay rights are quickly being established state by state. An important, longer standing right for gay couples is the right to petition for adoption.
Gay Adoption in Illinois
Though same-sex couples in Illinois will not have the right to marry until June 1st, same-sex couples have had the right to petition for adoption in Illinois since 1995, with the landmark court decision of Petition of K.M. The Illinois Adoption Act allows “[a] reputable person of legal age and of either sex” to petition for adoption. There is language in the statute that require those who are married to petition jointly. This was used to deny same-sex couples the right to adopt until Petition of K.M., which interpreted the act as not requiring a couple to be married, only that married couples petition jointly.
Not only can same-sex couples adopt, but in the modern day when same-sex marriage is allowed by law, they should adopt in certain cases to serve their interests. The law of presumptive parenthood in same-sex marriages is not settled; therefore, the spouse of a biological parent may not have the presumptive rights that traditional marriages are afforded under the law. In cases where one spouse in a same-sex marriage is the biological parent of a child, the other spouse should adopt the child to ensure the child’s survivor benefits, hospital visitation rights, and all other rights and responsibilities of parenthood.
Contact a DuPage County Adoption Lawyer
Adoption is a lengthy process. An experienced family law attorney can navigate the process quickly, so you can begin your life with your newly adopted child all the sooner. If you are contemplating adoption, contact an experienced Illinois adoption attorney today.