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Can priests adopt children

Mar 23, 2015

Hi Father

I am researching for a Catholic based novel and I want to ask a hypothetical question. Are priests allowed to adopt children? For instance, if a single parent in their parish dies suddenly and there is no one who wants to foster/adopt the child and the priest feels that God wants him to adopt the child, is this permissable in Catholic law?

I would be really garetful for your answer.


Asked at 07:10 pm on March 23rd 2015

Dear Eowyn:

As far as I am aware Canon Law does not deal with this, but it would be very unusual for a priest to adopt a child. The Church maintains that the best environment for a child to grow up in is a family with both a husband and a wife, which is not possible for a priest to provide.

Then, the life of a priest is not suited to being an adoptive father, given that there are many activities that would mean a child would be left alone.

Civil law would also be a factor as I think that in many countries the law prefers two parents if they wish to adopt.

Replied at 01:29 am on March 24th 2015