Can Atheists Be Parents?

Good thing we still live in a theocracy. Judge denies two atheists the right to adopt - because they didn’t believe in God.

Can Atheists Be Parents?

After six years of childless marriage, John and Cynthia Burke of Newark decided to adopt a baby boy through a state agency. Since the Burkes were young, scandal-free and solvent, they had no trouble with the New Jersey Bureau of Children’s Services—until investigators came to the line on the application that asked for the couple’s religious affiliation.

John Burke, an atheist, and his wife, a pantheist, had left the line blank. As a result, the bureau denied the Burkes’ application. After the couple began court action, however, the bureau changed its regulations, and the couple was able to adopt a baby boy from the Children’s Aid and Adoption Society in East Orange.

Last year the Burkes presented their adopted son, David, now 31, with a baby sister, Eleanor Katherine, now 17 months, whom they acquired from the same East Orange agency. Since the agency endorsed the adoption, the required final approval by a judge was expected to be pro forma. Instead, Superior Court Judge William Camarata raised the religious issue.

Inestimable Privilege. 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.”

6 Responses to “Can Atheists Be Parents?”

  1. Pseu Says:

    This story appears to be from 1970.

  2. Musicguy Says:

    yeah over 30 years old. Any idea how the supreme court ruled??

  3. Ian Says:

    I noticed that, I doubt much has changed since then though.

  4. EvilPoet Says:

    Here is the ruling. IMO - it makes for some very interesting reading.

    New Jersey Court Case: The Adoption of E

  5. Ian Says:

    Nice find.

  6. kevin Says:

    Oh my God i am totally in shock. How can you deny a child a family just because they do not believe in a supreme being? I mean i believe in God but that doesn’t mean that i am going to deny people who don’t believe in God the right to adopt, especially when the Burkes were checked out as having high moral and ethical standards as the judge has said.

    I mean it doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not because there IS a God, and all human beings are his children. So by default, whether you believe in God or not you are his children, and who are we to deny a family for his children?

    This is how great and wonderful God is, even if there are still people who has never heard of God or does not believe in God, it matters not to God because God is Truth, and Truth is God.

    And what is Truth always is, and what is false never was, there lies the peace of God.

    So as long as one is ethical and moral one would always ALWAYS be in God’s good graces.

    I hope that you can see my point of view.

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