Should Atheists be Able to Adopt?

A New Jersey Superior Court judge had denied a couple from adopting a baby girl, because of they are atheists!

In an extraordinary decision, Judge Camarata denied the Burkes' right to the child because of their lack of belief in a Supreme Being. Despite the Burkes' "high moral and ethical standards," he said, the New Jersey state constitution declares that "no person shall be deprived of the inestimable privilege of worshiping Almighty God in a manner agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience." Despite Eleanor Katherine's tender years, he continued, "the child should have the freedom to worship as she sees fit, and not be influenced by prospective parents who do not believe in a Supreme Being."

The Burkes are now living in Carterville, Ill., near Southern Illinois University, where John Burke has worked for the past year as a speech pathologist. Nevertheless, Judge Camarata ordered the parents to send David's sister back to the New Jersey adoption agency.

The couple appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case. Do you think parents' belief (or lack thereof) should be a criterion in whether they can adopt?


Update 1/6/078: Oops - this was from 1970. I was (just) a little late on this :) Still, it was an interesting story, IMHO.

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The judge must be on medication as he grossly misinterpreted the state constitution. Giving someone religious freedom does not require that the individual be religious, and, in fact, would be more likely in a non-denominational or atheist home. A strong Catholic family, for instance, would probably prohibit the child from investigating Lutheranism and vice-versa. Such a constricted reading/interpretation of this section of the constitution would render just about everyone ineligible. The only argument the judge could feasibly defend using that section of the constitution would be that the atheist parents had made definitive statements that they would NOT allow a child they adopted to investigate, join or follow ANY religion.

Final word: The idiot should be removed from the bench.
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actually if you read the story more closely you'd see that the couple adopted 31 years ago and have now adopted another child, or were trying to at least.

They were denied on the 2nd adoption for being atheists.

In fact he was an atheist she was a Pantheist,so does believe in gods.
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Eh man, here's a thought:

What happens when an adopted person marries another adopted person and they adopt a person and that person marries another adopted person and then they have a child and marry an adopted person and then somewhere in all that stupid mess, by accident, an adopted child marries his or her brother or sister or son or daughter or mother or father cos they didn't know, and they have a messed up disabled kid and when they finally do a DNA test they realize they're related, so they either throw it away in shame and/or they put that up for adoption?

Did anybody think about that?

Would that make a good movie, or would that create more disabled people we don't need?

Yeah that's right, it's all screwy.
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I believe that they should not only be denied the privilege of adopting children, but they should also not be allowed to procreate! They should both be sterilized ASAP -- the last thing we need in America is a breeding pair of heathens!
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