Catholic Charities Might Stop Adoption and Foster Care Service - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Catholic Charities Might Stop Adoption and Foster Care Services

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  Catholic Charities of Illinois might have to stop adoption and foster care services. It is because the organization will not process applications for civil union couples and the issue could cost them state funding.

  Since Catholic Charities started decades ago, they have never processed adoption or foster care applications for unmarried couples, gay or straight. The paper work has always been forwarded to other organizations. "As a faith based organization we have to respect the Catholic Church and Catholic Church teachings. The bottom line is what we're looking at is co-habitation," says Celeste Matheson, Director of Advancement for Catholic Charities.

  When civil unions start June 1st, Catholic Charities will not process applications for civil union couples. The groups says it's because a civil union is not a marriage. "It's all about the application process, we would simply refer that application to an organization that does not have the core beliefs that we do," adds Matheson.

  Catholic Charities has more than 1500 foster children currently placed in homes they monitor. If the organization stops services, they don't know what will happen to them. "If we are forced out it is the children that are going to be affected, it's the families that they are currently with, it's going to disrupt their lives," says Matheson.

  The group is lobbying in Springfield to make sure they can receive funding from the state. They want lawmakers to amend the civil union bill, assuring they can pass applications from civil union couples to other agencies without any penalties. "The amendment bill that we're looking for, that would allow us to partner with the state, it would really help us preserve those rights," says Matheson.

  Catholic Charities will continue adoption and foster care services until the state stops funding them or there is a lawsuit.

  TV6 spoke with Quad City Affirming Diversity; its director said its workings with the church in the Quad Cities have always been inclusive. She says she hopes the churches good works would be available to everyone.