Unmarried couples, single people and homosexuals have as much right to adopt children as do heterosexual married couples under the Charter of Rights. This directive from Ontario government civil servants to Children’s Aid societies was reported in Ontario newspapers on May 30 and 31.
This directive claims to speak with authority. In reality it is an example of some government people seizing the opportunity to present their secularist interpretation of Section 15 (the equality section) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms as the only proper interpretation. This interpretation is based on the ideas of absolute and total equality for all persons in society and the invalidity of religious concepts in present day Canadian society. The interpretation holds that recognition of differences between sexes is “discrimination” and, therefore, reprehensible; that all individuals have the same rights; and the pluralist society means the removal and elimination of all religious concept from the public forum (i.e., from law and society). Frequently, this interpretation creates rights where hitherto no rights existed and eliminates them where, traditionally, they did exist.
Opponents of the directive have pointed out already that adoption is not a right but a privilege, and that the directive, if carried out, would over-ride the right of the natural mother to have her child placed in a home similar to her own cultural and religious background.
Toronto Children’s Aid societies have engaged legal counsel to oppose this government directive.