Saturday, May 20, 2006

Guest Blogger Conor on Gay Parents Adopting

Conor, our pastor's son, is a good friend of ours. He is 17. One day not too long ago I was driving him to get fitted for his prom tux (his prom is tonight--more on that in a later). As we drove he asked me about a recent court ruling he'd heard about here in IN where a judge allowed two women to adopt a child together. I asked him why he was interested in this, and he said he was writing a persuasive paper on inclusive adoption. I asked him if he would be a guest blogger at GrowingSense and let me post his paper. He said yes, so here it is:

Should adoption be legal for all people? All kinds of people should have the opportunity to share in the joys of parenthood. Maybe it is a single parent who cannot find a spouse but still wants to have a child, or maybe a gay couple that wants to become parents. We can easily give that opportunity to these people.

Single parents, as they should, legally have the chance to adopt children if they want. They often make the same amount of money as a family where one parent does not work. If a person chooses not to marry should they not get the chance to be a parent like people who do marry? We should give them the chance to adopt because some single parents can be just as fit to be parents as some couples and it would not be right not to let them adopt. Approximately 25 percent of the adoptions of children with special needs are by single men and women (National Adoption Information Clearinghouse). They give children with special needs whose parents could not take care of them another chance at a good family. It may be difficult sometimes for single parents to raise children, but when they really love the kids it becomes a lot easier for them to manage.

Some people may say that gay people will raise gay children and so they should not be allowed to adopt. If we follow the logic that gay people raise gay children though, should not children of straight people be straight? If straight parents create straight children, then there would be no gay people. Since gay people exist and their parents are straight, we must admit that a parent’s sexuality has no effect on the sexual development of their children. Research studying lesbian and gay parents and their children explored things like the children’s wellbeing and development in many different areas. They also studied the quality of the parenting and the gender and sexual development of the children. These studies found that the sexual orientation of the parents does not affect the psychological wellbeing of children, and they also found that the sexual orientation of the parents has no effect on the child’s sexual development (Cooper and Cates 27-29*).

Even the Department of Children and Families recognizes that gays and lesbians can make fine guardians for children and routinely place foster children in homes of gay people. There is little to no difference between a child who has been raised in a traditional family and one who has been raised in a family with same-sex parents. There is no study you can find to show that children raised by same-sex couples turn out differently than they would have in a traditional family. Gay couples also adopt many more children than other groups because many cannot have biological children of their own and they give children opportunities with a real family that they would not have otherwise. Restricting gay and lesbian adoption can be harmful to children (Cooper and Cates 74).

Some people may say that gay people would not be good parents, but you cannot generalize like that just as you cannot say that single parents cannot be good parents. There are some gay people, who would not make good parents, but there are also straight people who are not good parents, and there are also single people who would not make good parents. When deciding who is fit to be a parent you have to take it on a case by case basis and you cannot generalize a group of people to say that they would not make good parents. Non-traditional families are just like any other family. They will love the children unconditionally and will care for them like any traditional parents would. If non-traditional parents are dedicated enough to do all of the extra work it takes to be a single parent or a gay couple and the work it takes to adopt a child then they likely will love the child like nobody else would.

The American Medical Association will support legislative and other efforts to allow adoption of a child by same-sex parents. The American Psychiatric Association says that sexual orientation should not be used as the sole or primary factor in child’s custody determinations. With the support of all of these medical and psychiatric associations how could we deny that same-sex parenthood is a good idea? These associations know what they are doing when they support something and to support something like same-sex adoption they must really find a lot of value in it.

Should adoption be legal for all people? Of course it should be legal. Research and every major professional group agrees that there are no reasons not to allow the groups of people discussed above to adopt children, so it should definitely be legal. These potential parents also will give children a good home and a loving environment to grow up in instead of letting them move from foster home to foster home. Adoption should be legal for all people.

(*Leslie Cooper and Paul Cates. Too High a Price: The Case Against Restricting Gay Parenting (2nd edition))


Anonymous David said...

Conor, well said and well written. Troy, thanks for bringing this to your readers.

7:05 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

oh my goodness! you tell that young man job well done.

9:20 AM  

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