A married Christian couple has been barred from adopting their two young foster children because they said a child needs a ‘mummy and daddy’ rather than gay parents.

The husband and wife have been fostering the children for almost a year and started looking after them when they were pre-school age.

After they were told that a gay couple were being put forward to adopt them, the pair were said by their social worker to find the situation “very challenging”, and two days later formally applied to adopt the youngsters themselves.

However the council turned them down, saying that their views about gay parenting were “concerning” and “could be detrimental to the long-term needs of the children.”

Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre which is supporting the family, told The Sunday Times: ‘They wanted to adopt the children but were told that their three-bedroom home was too small.

‘They were then told that an application had been matched with a same-sex couple and they said ‘we really believe the children need a mum and a dad’.

‘They just feel these children need a mother and a father – it’s not about discrimination in any way.”

The husband, who cannot be named for legal reasons, added: “We don’t want to fight or make ideological arguments. We are normal people.

He said that they had “not expressed homophobic views, unless Christian beliefs are, by definition, homophobic.

“We expressed the view that a child needs a mother and a father in modest, temperate terms based on our Christian convictions.

“We love everyone (regardless of sexual orientation) and we love the children and believe that they would benefit from the foundation offered by a mother and a father.”

Asked how he would react if one of the children came out as gay, the husband said: “It is hard to accept, but we would accept it.”

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