Catholic adoption agency asks OSCR to review decision over its charitable status

Scottish regulator ruled that St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society fails the charity test because it excludes same-sex couples from its services


A Catholic adoption agency has asked the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator to review a decision forcing it to stop refusing same-sex couples from using its services or risk losing its charitable status. 

The OSCR last month ruled that the Glasgow-based St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society had failed the charity test because it insisted that potential adoptive parents be married for at least two years and was therefore in breach of the Equality Act 2010 for excluding same-sex couples from its services.

The OSCR said the charity had until 22 April to amend its guidance and procedures or it would be removed from the Scottish Charity Register.

But the charity, which is connected to the Roman Catholic Church, has asked for a review of the OSCR’s decision.

A spokesman for the charity said: "The board of St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society has lodged a formal request for a review of the decision made last month by the OSCR that St Margaret's did not meet the charity test."

The charity also issued a statement from Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow, which said: "The bishops and the whole Catholic community are supportive of the work done by St Margaret's and we earnestly hope that common sense will prevail and the agency will be allowed to continue with its excellent and very necessary work. In the meantime, St Margaret’s is open for business as usual and continues to prepare couples for the adoption process."

A spokeswoman for the OSCR, which must give its review decision by 4 March, declined to comment on the case while it was continuing.

It comes after the Scottish government pledged its support for St Margaret’s. 

A Scottish government spokesman said last week: "It is in no one’s interests to close an organisation that is providing valuable services to vulnerable children and young people and we want to work with St Margaret’s to find a solution."

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