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French adoption agency official suspended after gay comments

Written by gaytourism

Seine-Maritime adoption head said gays were lower in pecking order.

An adoption agency official in France has been suspended for suggesting gay people were given the most difficult children when applying to adopt.

Seine-Maritime assembly thrown into spotlight on gay adoption treatment.

The region’s president has now ordered an urgent inquiry into how the adoption agency in the Seine-Maritime region of northern France is managed.

Pascale Lemare was head of the adoption service in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy, in northern France. She made the shocking comments during an interview with French radio station France Bleu.

Twitter reaction: One follower posted photo of Lemare.

Lemare said that same-sex couples were more likely to be offered children who had health, mental or physical issues, including disabilities.

‘Children that no one wants. There are people who don’t want to adopt children who are too damaged, too psychologically damaged, too big, or handicapped,’ she said during the interview.

‘There are parents who correspond better to the required criteria,’ she said.

‘Not a gay couple, then?’ asked the interviewer.

‘Well, no,’ Lemare said, adding that same-sex couples were ‘a little atypical, you might say, with regard to social norms and biological norms’.

Same-sex adoption was legalised in France in 2013, the same year the same-sex marriage was also legalised in the EU country.

President orders urgent enquiry

Pascal Martin, president of the Seine-Maritime region, said Lemare’s comments were completely out of step with the values of the regional assembly, which is based in Rouen.

Regional president Pascal Martin ordered enquiry.

‘I requested that an external audit of the service concerned be undertaken to verify its operating procedures which, until now and to my knowledge, have never been in default.

‘At the same time, as a precautionary measure, I decided to relieve the head of the department from today, Wednesday, June 20th.

‘I hope this will shed some light on the reasons that led her to make such comments.’

Lemare’s comments prompted furious reactions from French gay rights activists.

‘We are extremely shocked by these comments,’ said Alexandre Urwicz, head of the Same-Sex Parents’ Association (ADFH). News24 reported the group had filed a complaint over the comments.

Geraldine Chambon, a gay rights activist living in Normandy, said she was ‘scandalised’ and similarly considering a lawsuit.

‘We had heard things about the region’s adoption policy, but it was just rumours,’ she said.

See also:

Bill making it legal to ban LGBTI people from adopting passes in Oklahoma

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