Mitt Romney once demanded that a single mom give up her baby for adoption or face excommunication from the church, according to excerpts from a new biography by two Boston Globe journalists.
Romney allegedly made the threat while serving as bishop of a Mormon congregation near Boston in the early 1980s, a passage in "The Real Romney," by Michael Kranish and Scott Helman, claims.
Vanity Fair published the excerpts in its February edition.
The passage tells the story of Peggie Hayes, a divorcee and single mother of two, the second a son born out of wedlock.
Hayes said she worked as a babysitter and cleaner of sorts for the Romney family when they lived in the Boston area. "Mitt was really good to us. He did a lot for us," Hayes reportedly said.
However, she said, Romney visited her apartment when she was pregnant and began to talk about the church’s adoption agency, telling her that the church encouraged adoption in cases where "a successful marriage is unlikely."
When she objected to the suggestion that she give up her child, she recalls Romney saying: "Well, this is what the church wants you to do, and if you don’t, then you could be excommunicated for failing to follow the leadership of the church."
"This is not playing around," Hayes reportedly said. "This is not like, ‘You don’t get to take Communion.’ This is like ‘You will not be saved. You will never see the face of God.'"
Romney, the GOP frontrunner candidate for presidential nomination, has weathered increasing scrutiny of his personal and professional past, mostly on his time on Wall Street as head of private equity firm Bain Capital.
(Read more in GlobalPost Macro: Mitt Romney, private equity and Wall Street)