There is only 'a child'

I've just found this article on The writer and his wife are going through the process of being approved for adoption. He complains about the 'right' of the birth parents to require that the child be adopted only by parents of their choice of religion, and the child raised in that particular faith. He says:
"There are 2-year-old children who must be raised as Muslims because their father is listed by their Irish mother as "unknown, presumably Iraqi (Muslim)" and so they are deemed to be genetically Muslim. There are children who are 1 year old but are, according to their substance-abusing mother, Catholic and so they cannot go to a couple of heathens like us."

Now, I'm no expert on adoption but this article on Adoption UK (mentioned in the comments to the above article) indicates that new guidance is moving away from a requirement that children be placed with families of the same background. The article does, however, state that "Current advice states that social workers must give "due consideration to the child's religious persuasion..."". I'm sorry? How does a child have a 'religious persuasion'?

I know I've said this before, but when are we going to learn that there is no such thing as a 'Christian child', a 'Muslim child' or, indeed, an 'atheist child'? There is only 'a child'. Period.


  1. John,

    I couldn't agree more and it is a point that bears repeating.
    If I remember correctly, this was part of a poster campaign by Humanists.
    Journalist Christopher Hitchins wrote an excellent book; "God is not great" in which he advanced the argument that the religious labelling of children is a form of abuse. Well worth a read, if you haven't done so already.

  2. Yes, the image is a poster from that campaign.

    And yes, I devoured Hitchens's book as soon as it was published. Excellent stuff.


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