Edinburgh city council faces growing pressure from groups angry that two children, aged four and five, are to be placed in the adoptive care of a gay couple, allegedly against their grandparents' will.
Such is the ferocity of opposition from some sectors, that council leader Jenny Dawe has received "aggressive e-mails" as a result of the decision, which ruled that the gay couple are suitable foster parents for the youngsters – a ruling which the grandparents of the children are fighting against the clock to overturn.
The children's grandparents—who took the children on after their heroin addicted mother struggled to cope—sought help from social services after they, too, found themselves unable to care for the children. Over a period of nearly three years since, the children, a girl and a boy, have been moved between series of foster homes across Edinburgh. However, the council recently decided that more stable accommodation was needed for the pair.
The grandparents eventually consented to have the children placed in adoptive care, though not without claims they had been "bullied" by the council into giving up the children.
However the grandparents were informed last week that the children were set to be adopted by a gay couple, and subsequently lodged a formal complaint, arguing that their wishes that the children be placed in a mixed-sex home have been ignored. Edinburgh City Council's most senior social worker, Michelle Miller has been tasked with heading up the investigation, upon which the council has until March to report.
The news has precipitated a number of complaints, not least from groups opposed to gay adoption. The Christian charity, Care, have approached the local authority for assurances that the law was not broken when the grandparents' preferences were overruled.
Under current Scottish law, same-sex couples are not entitled to adopt jointly, though gay individuals are entitled to do so. Accordingly, the children are being adopted by just one of the partners, and are now weeks away from being placed into the couple's care on a permanent basis – a transfer the grandparents are now attempting to halt.
An anonymous multi-millionaire has reputedly promised to pay the family's legal bills, though legal experts suggest that their current options are limited.
Responding to the concerns raised over the controversial adoption, council leader Jenny Dawe said: ""From the information available there is nothing to suggest that the adopting couple will not provide the right environment for two vulnerable children and I am completely confident that staff have acted correctly."