Vegetarian couple barred from adopting in Greece | News.com.au (external - login to view)

A VEGETARIAN couple on the Greek island of Crete has been barred from adopting a child because of doubts about their diet, a local social welfare official said today.

The decision was taken because the would-be adoptive parents, who have gone to court to overturn it, eat no meat or fish and officials feared this regimen would be applied to the child as well.

"We asked the University of Crete medical school on the issue and they said the child's diet must include meat, fish, etc," the head of the city's welfare services, Spyros Epitropakis, said.

"We do not discriminate but we were obliged to check this out. The issue is now in the hands of the judicial authorities," he said.

The university expert whose recommendation was used by the welfare services to reject the application has labeled the affair "unreasonable."

"It's unreasonable not to be given the child for being vegetarian," said Antonis Kafatos, a pediatrician and nutrition researcher.

"A child needs to eat fish, seafood and dairy products among other things, without meat being essential. But if the family has no intention of imposing its diet habits on the child, I don't see where the problem is," he said.

The case is to be examined on March 16.

Greece has one of the lowest birth rates in the European Union. Strict procedures covering adoption in the country often force couples to seek other options, such as adopting children sold by migrant gangs.

Makes sense to me.... there are general food guide in many countries which dictate what's a healthy diet, especially towards growing children..... Meat products are a part of those food guides. Parents around the world already influence their children not just by their spiritual beliefs, among other things, but also their diet.

Perhaps refusing the adopt might have been on the extreme side of things, what should have happened was they should have approved the adoption, but ensured that child services would come around regularly to make sure there are meat products in the household and that the child is getting their proper diet intake, rather then being forced to be the parent's lab rat by only eating the foods they eat.

It's not like it hasn't happened before.