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Peoria Diocese Catholic Charities Withdraws from Legal Battle over Civil Union Adoptions

By Nottage and Ward on October 12, 2011

The Illinois civil union law has spurred an ongoing battle between Catholic Charities and the state over the adoptive rights of same-sex couples. Under state law, adoption services under Illinois contracts are required to allow same-sex couples to adopt, as per the rights given to them by the civil union law. Catholic Charities, however, has refused to comply with the law because it contradicts the teachings of their faith. When the state declined to renew their contracts, Catholic Charities took their fight to court and still continue to fight the decision, except for the Peoria Diocese, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Illinois declined to renew its adoption services contracts with Catholic Charities of Peoria, Springfield, Joliet, and Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois in Belville when the organizations refused to provide adoption services to civil union same-sex couples, though they said that they would refer them to other agencies. This is still considered discrimination by the state and thus the cancelled contracts were upheld in court. All but the Peoria Diocese plan to appeal.

Catholic Charities of Peoria has withdrawn from the court battle and will no longer provide publicly-funded adoption and foster services in Illinois. Its clients and staff will transition to a new non-profit organization, the Center for Youth and Family Solutions, by February 1, 2012. This new organization, which will have no church affiliation, has agreed to serve civil union couples.

Although it seems that there is progress being made in resolving the effects of the civil union law, confusion and controversy will likely still remain for some time while the courts work through the gray areas. If you are planning on entering into a civil union in Illinois or have questions now that you have entered into a civil union, the knowledgeable Chicago civil union lawyers at Nottage and Ward are here to put your concerns to rest. Contact us today to learn more at (312) 332-2915.

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