Let Pedophiles Adopt Children, Says Leading Academic

Let pedophiles adopt children: that’s the message that Britain’s Home Secretary Theresa May received from a leading academic.

Helen Reece, a reader in law at the London School of Economics and a controversial figure who’s even suggested that rape victims should not be granted anonymity, wrote to May on behalf of all sex offenders — “even pedophiles.”

Her article originally appeared in the respected Child and Family Law Quarterly, with select comments picked up online by The Telegraph in 2010. Thanks to the power of Facebook, the comments went viral this week and have re-incensed the numerous people who disagree with Reece.

Here’s what she originally wrote:

There is no reason why all sex offenders should not be considered as potentially suitable to adopt or foster children, or work with them…. The Vetting and Barring Scheme and other legislative measures single out sex offenders for unfair special treatment and they destroy the principle that a prisoner pays his or her debt by serving their sentence before re-entering society on equal terms.”

According to “the Barred List,” anyone convicted of a sexual or violent offense is barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

“Rather than presuming that everyone is a potential risk to children and must therefore be vetted, any vetting or barring should be based on very strong evidence that they are a risk,” Reece said, adding, “This would represent a victory not only for human rights but for protecting the best interests of children.”

More from The Telegraph:

Miss Reece criticised the rules for leading all sex offenders to be “tarred with the same brush,” saying that while “careful screening” was “important,” the issuing of a “blanket ban” violated the rights of criminals who wanted to adopt or work with young people.

She highlighted the case of a grandfather with a conviction for having sex with a 15-year-old dating back to when he was 29, who was refused permission to adopt his own grandchildren.

The ban could contravene the principle of non-discrimination enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, and may leave the Government open to legal challenge, Miss Reece warned.

Comparing sex offenders to cohabiting couples, she suggested that if blanket bans on the former were allowed, it would make sense to bar those who were not married from adopting because parents who were wed were less likely to separate with harmful consequences for the child.

For those of you worried that the UK would consider allowing pedophiles to adopt, don’t be. It was never considered. In fact, at the time, a Home Office spokesman said: “It is safe to say that the vetting review will not be considering allowing pedophiles to adopt. It wouldn’t exactly go down well with the public.”

But what do you think, readers? Is there ever a situation where it would be okay to allow pedophiles the right to adopt? Share your thoughts in our comments section.

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