Inter-faith adoption of children is acceptable to two-thirds of Britons, according to a YouGov poll released today. 2,051 adults aged 18 and over were interviewed online on 2-3 February 2011. The results are available at:
Asked whether, assuming they were well-qualified in all other ways, adoption by a couple of a different religion to the child being adopted should be allowed, 65% of respondents said yes and 14% no, with 21% unsure.
The proportion in favour of adoption under such circumstances was especially high (73%) in the case of those aged 18-24 and Scottish residents. It was lowest among the over-60s (59%), 17% of whom were opposed, the same figure as for those who voted Conservative at the 2010 general election.
Interviewees were more comfortable about adoption by a couple of a different religion to the child than by people over the age of 60 (16%), smokers (44%), people over the age of 50 (46%), gays and lesbians (53%), single persons (53%), and those on very low incomes (53%). But support was less than for adoption by unmarried couples (73%) and couples from a different racial background to the child being adopted (77%).
The number negative about inter-faith adoption was the smallest for the nine adoption scenarios apart from adoption by a couple of a child from a different racial background, which was only 11%. Opposition was strongest (64%) to adoption by people over the age of 60.
The results partly serve as a proxy for a fair degree of racial and religious tolerance in Britain but to the persistence of some other social prejudices. However, one suspects that the findings may have differed somewhat had questioning been about adoption by members of specific religious groups.
It should be noted that the poll did not directly touch upon one of the adoption issues which has been making serious running in recent years, the sensitivities of some persons of faith about adoption by homosexual couples, and about the expectation on other adopting couples to lack bias against homosexuality, in the face of the requirements of equality legislation.