February 22, 2013 — The agreement between the governments of Spain and Morocco requiring Spanish adopters of Moroccan children to raise them as Muslims is both troubling and, in the end, wrong. The agreement will include a monitoring system to ensure that no Moroccan child converts away from Islam before the age of 18.
I grant that this is a sensitive issue. One recalls the grave concern expressed in recent years about Catholics who adopted Jewish children during the Holocaust period, because they generally baptized them and raised them Catholic. Insofar as the child’s birth parents are still alive, and the birth parents did not give up their children voluntarily, this is an especially difficult issue. But in theory, the process of adoption is supposed to make the adoptive couple real parents to the adoptive child. This is not like foster care. And it is difficult to conceive how real parents, motivated by love, can fail to encourage in a child the growth in those beliefs which the parents understand as most conducive to the fullfilment of the obligatory human commitment to the true and the good.