1. It seems to me there is one important reason why we'd want to make sure that
adoptive parents raise the child in the birth parents' faith: To encourage the birth parents to put their children up for adoption, by removing or mitigating one reason for them not to do so (a fear that the child will be raised in a way that endangers the child's salvation). And that's true even if we don't share the parents' beliefs; so long as such birth parent fears are real, they may deter adoption placements that would otherwise happen, and that would help the child, the adoptive parents, the birth parents, and the taxpayers. It's true that there might be some opposite effects, if children end up being unadoptable because of long delays caused by waiting for just the right religion. But I suspect that the effects will quite likely be positive.
2. For international adoptions, there may also be similar reasons focused on the belief system of the birth parents' country. If Morocco stops allowing adoptions to
Britain or the U.S. because there's no assurance that the child will be raised Muslim, then that might materially diminish the quantity of win-win-win-win adoptions.
* * *
So the Times story, if accurate, is pretty troubling, both based on its particulars -- among other things, there's now one child who's more likely to have to spend more time in a Moroccan orphanage rather than in what seems likely to be a loving family -- and in what it says about the mistaken attitudes and priorities of the English child welfare system. I hope U.S. authorities avoid going down that path, both for First Amendment reasons and for the other reasons I outlined above.
Things I find troubling? The a priori assumption that encouraging birth parents to relinquish children is a good thing. The characterization of adoption as win-win-win-win -- sometimes, but it's more usually loss-loss/win-win. I'm not sure I want to put taxpayers on that list, as Prof.V. does.
What to you see -- positive as well as negative -- in these comments?