Same Sex Adoption Essay
“Adoption is not about finding children for families, it’s about finding families for children” (Joyce Maguire Pavao). Same sex marriages have led to controversies on the possibility of efficient parentage of such couples. Successfully and effectively taking care of children by couples of the same sex has always been doubted. To be more specific, most critics strongly fight against adoption of children by same sex partners.
The negative perception is further acknowledged by the battles on legitimacy and legal processes in adopting children. Although at present times the adoption of children by same sex couples is legitimate and legal in the law of some countries, this process still faces opposition in society, human rights activities, and children affairs organizations. In some countries like Spain, Britain, Holland and Canada, these adoptions are legally permitted by the law contrary to other major countries in the world where its criticized and considered an abomination.
As always, the main focus in this argument has been forgotten. The main concern should be the well being of the child, not the sexual preference of the parents. Growing up, a child should be subjected to as much love and attention as possible, as well as learning to comprehend right from wrong. If these things are being met, whether the parents of the child are a man and a woman, two men, or two woman, then who is to say that their relationship is a wrong atmosphere for a child to be in? In the United States, prospective same sex couples have been prohibited in some states for attempting to adopt children.
This prohibition has been made possible either through denial of the right for adoption, banning adoption by unmarried couples or banning marriages by same sex. Presently legislatures in some states are debating on the legitimacy of the resolution to prohibit same sex couples from adopting children. Gender and moral development of a child are always topics that require specific and special interest in their handing, in relation to gender identity, participatory activities and preference (Non Traditional Families…). Consequently, parents’ orientation in terms of gender and sex must be factorized in having adoption by same sex couples in a child’s home. Common questions that have been raised include, do boys brought up by lesbian adult couples develop male stability in identity?
Do they develop appropriate female attention or attraction and behavior patterns? On the other hand what happens to a girl child reared by gay fathers without a responsible mother in the house? It is widely acknowledged through the psychoanalytic and social cognitive theories that a parent to child relationship will often dictate to a large extent the development of children’s gender orientation. However, a child will simply be who they want to be. If the parents are raising said child in a home just as safe and functional as the one man – one woman marriage, than why would the child in the same sex marriage turn out any different? Outcomes on children brought up in varying family structures in terms of the character of the child relates negatively and directly to adult socialization and co-parenting exposure. Same sex couples are expected to have the same results in the children they bring up.
The only adjustment that may be different between the two marriages is the parenting behaviors. Crucial examination should be established between parental behavior and child development with heterosexual lesbian and gay parenting. This is with the consideration that early family exposure and experience predicts children’s behavioral outcomes in their later life. Same sex couples should not be deprived of one of God’s greatest gifts for the simple reason that being gay is abnormal. They are fully functioning members in the society and should be granted their rights. They participate in all modes of interactions in their day to day life including fighting in the quest of education in schools, opportunities in working places and submitting taxes to the government. In sincerity there are no specific qualifications for being a parent.
Nevertheless, suggestions are that an individual to be said to possess good parenting skills, they should be responsible, loving, show great care and trustworthiness. All of these strictly apply to heterosexual parents. Focus should be on accepting that homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals in all purposes in relation to personality, morality and behavior but not in their sexual actions. Due to most states not having laws or formal policies in place, a lot can depend on the judgment of child welfare professionals and judges, when it comes to same-sex couples and adoption. In some states, however, the laws or policies declare that same-sex or unmarried couples are not allowed to adopt, and gay and lesbian couples are not able to marry. While one parent can adopt as a single parent, that then precludes the second parent from adopting.
This situation may improve as more states legalize same-sex marriage and thus, in turn, permit adoption by both members of a same sex couples. According to the Family Equality Council, many states have policies that have the effect of restricting foster parenting or adoption by gays and lesbians. Such policies include allowing preference for heterosexual married couples, barring cohabiting same-sex couples, and allowing child-placement agencies to discriminate on the basis of religious or moral objections. Of these states, only Florida explicitly bars gays and lesbians from adopting. However, in 2010, Florida overturned this ban that prevented gays and lesbians from adopting children. The Florida Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional and determined that it denied the “best interests of the child.” In contrast, the adoption and foster care placement policies of six states have explicitly prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation. These states are California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York. (Coughman).
Despite the fact that many same-sex couples have been able to adopt, barriers to adoption still exist in several states. Sexual orientation is not a federally protected class the way that race and ethnicity are. Some states have recently changed laws regarding same sex adoption. Same sex adoption proves to be an uphill battle in other states. For example, in Michigan, same sex couples cannot become parents of an adopted child together. Instead, only a single, unmarried person can adopt the child in that state. The state of Mississippi has a similar law, according to Human Rights Campaign.
Arizona passed a law in 2011 that did not ban same-sex couples from adopting, but instead gave preference to heterosexual couples in the adoption process, according to the Independent Adoption Center. In the case of the law that Michigan currently upholds against same sex couples, many people are outraged over the fact that although one parent may have rights, the other does not. If the parent that does have guardianship were to die while the child was still young, the other parent would be looked at as a stranger in the eyes of the state government. The child would then have to be placed under care of their biological parents are put back into the foster care/adoption system. Laws are continuing to blossom as well as diminish, as society lurches forward into a new age. Regarding same sex adoption, there is still a long way to go. To end with a final thought, who are we to say that a same sex couple is wrong for a child’s well being and growth?
“Adoption, Foster Care Agencies & State Law.” Human Rights Campaign. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. Coughman, Susan. “Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples Still on the Rise.” Adoption News and Information from Adoptive Families. N.p., 2013. Web. 23 Sept. 2013. “Non-Traditional Family and Same Sex Couple Adoptions – Pittsburgh Adoption Law.”Non-Traditional Family and Same Sex Couple Adoptions – Pittsburgh Adoption Law. Elliot and Davis, PC, 2010. Web. 23 Sept. 2013.
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