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Contradictions in adoption policy

YOU publish a number of letters about the difficulties raised by St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society's adoption policies under the laudable heading "Vulnerable children must come first in adoption row" (Letters, January 26).

However, the majority of the letters published seem to be arguing the opposite.

For the welfare of a child to come first the service involved in attempting to meet his or her needs must put aside the prejudices of the organisation (that is, fixed, pre-determined policies) and assess both the needs of that particular child and the quality of the particular resources available to meet those needs (in this case prospective adoptive parents) on a case-by-case basis. An organisation cannot have a fixed, pre-determined policy that excludes consideration of some prospective adoptive parents on the grounds of, for example, their race, their age or the fact that they live in a same-sex relationship and simultaneously claim that it is promoting the best interests of that particular child as such a position promotes the form of discrimination favoured by the organisation over an assessment of what is in the welfare of that child.

Brian Dempsey,

Lecturer, School of Law, University of Dundee.

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