GAY ADOPTION 7
TheSupreme Court ruling that outlawed state laws that prohibit gaymarriages accorded gay couples not just legal recognition, but alsothe right to be parents like their straight counterparts. The debateon whether gay parents should be allowed to adopt children is stillcontentious regardless of the Supreme Court ruling. In view of thesubstantive operation of the ruling, gay parents should be allowed toadopt children. The sexual orientation of parents should not definethe right to adopt children. The fact that gay marriage is legal alsoimplies that denying them the right to have children is alsounconstitutional because it is a legally recognized marriageinstitution. Hence, the support for the right of gay couples to adoptchildren is based on other vital premises that generally emphasize onthe interests of the child rather than the interests of adults. Theconsiderations that adoption agencies use to allow adoption ofchildren should repeal discriminative procedures that only cater forstraight parents and locks out gay parents from adopting children.
Thedenial of gay parents the right to adopt children is based on thebelief that gender is an essential category yet it is a socialconstruct (Herek,2000). The view of maleness and femaleness as an essential binary inthe social organization of the society considers straight parents asthe ones supposed to adopt children possibly to the roles assigned bythe society to the mother and the father of the adopted child. Social constructivism holds that human beings often performing rolesthat deviate from the societal stereotypes about gender or conform tothe socially accepted behavior in as far as a particular socialconstruct on gender is concerned. Throughout time, individual peoplenot only believe, but also engage in practices that map to the normsshaped by the social constructed binary of maleness and females. Bydenying gay couples the right to adopt children, adoption andagencies and state governments simply apply the typical stereotypesaround gender. One the rationales that opponents of gay adoption usearethat the right upbringing of a child should be by a completestraight marriage. In this case, the opponents consider the motheras playing a specific role different from that the father. Theargument is stems from the same social constructs that depict andwomen as binary identities that have different potential in terms ofplaying in inter-gender roles in while raising children. As long asgender remains the social construct that has been defeated andreason, gay parents have the right just like straight parents toadopt children because gender is not a significant or definitivefactor in predicting the effective or ineffective parenting.
Lawsthat forbid against gay adoption negate the principle of parentalautonomy. The state should not interfere with parents in parentaladoption. Now that that gay marriage is legally recognized, it hasthe legal power to adopt, and also the legal power to be protectedfrom state interference(Elovitz,2010). The principle of parental autonomy stipulates that the stateshould not interfere with the decision of birthparents to put uptheir child for adoption. The state only has the sole mandate toverify that the birthparents have done so based on the voluntary andinformed consent. Parental autonomy is not contingent upon marriagerelationship, meaning that a biological connection between parentsand child to be adopted is not in itself a legal requirement forauthority to exercise parental autonomy. The same the state shouldnot interfere with parenting decisions for straight marriage parents,gay parents are not an exception to the parent autonomy principle. Furthermore, as long as birth parents voluntarily agree to put uptheir child for adoption by gay parents, it would contradictory tostop the process of adoption due to the sexual orientation of theprospective adoptive. If birthparents decline to give consent forthe adoption of their child to gay parents, it would be considered anact to exercise their right to parental autonomy rather than an actof discrimination since it qualifies as a legal reason to stop it.The doctrines of family privacy engrained in the constitution shouldbe guide the process of recognizing gay adoption because they protectthe process from the interferences of the state.
Considera situation where a straight biological parent decides enter ahomosexual relationship. The fact that straight parents have in thepast decided to enter into homosexual relationships reveals how gayparenting cannot be prevented by the state altogether. If such asituation occurs, states with laws that prohibit gay adoption willhave to actively intervene by separating the child or children fromthe straight-turned homosexual parent. This kind of interference islegally unfathomable because it directly assaults the legality of gaymarriages and outrightly discriminates the parent on the basis oftheir sexual orientation.For the state to initiate activeinterference, it must have a strong bias against it which is alsolegally binding. The Active state interference can only be legallybinding by demonstrating that the decision by the straight parent toenter into a homosexual will violate the interests of the child.Secondly, the general pool of prospective adoptive parents is not atsatisfactory levels. Allowing gay parents to adopt increases thepool of prospective adoptive parents. Currently, prospective gayparents are disproportionate to the size of the gay population. Thereare few couples among those classified as prospective adopters whohave the demographic features that make them seem likely to be goodparents. Therefore, the marginal gay couple might be promising interms of providing good parenting than the marginal straight adoptiveparent. The decision to allow gay parents to adopt should thereforebe based on the potential to provide good parenting rather than thesexual orientation of the parents. For example, a gay couple with aprosperous attitude, healthy lifestyle, and the financial stabilityto bring up a child is better than a straight couple that abusessubstances and drugs, and financially unstable.
Therehave been research findings that show that children in gay marriagesare generally disadvantaged than children in straight marriages withotherwise similar demographic features(Rauch,2004). Such research do not follow that all gay parents with similardemographic features with their straight counterparts should beprevented from adopting children. It is worth noting that there islittle research that analyzes the success of adoptions by gayparents. The existing paltry research findings show evidenceconfirming that despite the opposition to gay adoption, same-sexcouples can provide good conditions for raising a child.
Opponentsof gay adoption point out studies that showed that gay marriages donot last more than a year and a half. They also point out otherfindings that show that gay men tend to have eight sexual partners ina year outside their marriage or primary homosexual relationship.Finally, skeptics also use the findings that indicated thathomosexual parents have a comparatively shorter lifespan than theirstraight counterparts. Before subjecting the findings a test onwhether they covered all the factors that guide empirical research,it is vital to emphasize that the well-being of the child remains themost fundamental factor to consider before using research findingsthat describe a general trend among gay marriages than other specificissues that could be different from one gay marriage to another. Tocounter these findings, the American Psychological Association (APA)concluded, after carrying out the research, that same-sex householdshave the same measurements of health and well-being s their straightcounterparts (Meezan& Rauch, 2005). APA also found that there is no scientificevidence that can lead to the conclusion that lesbian mothers or gayfathers are unfit for parenting on the basis of the sexualorientation. In fact APA found that the factors cited by manyresearchers as having detrimental effects on adopted children do notconstitute sexual orientation as tone of them. The American Academyof Pediatrics also pointed out that there is a considerable body ofliterature that has evidence that points out that children inhomosexual marriages can have the same advantages and the sameexpectations for development, adjustment, and health as childrenheterosexual marriages. Institutions such as the APA, The ChildWelfare League of America, The National Association of Socialworkers, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent psychiatric arenot advocacy groups or pro-gay civil society groups but aremainstream professional bodies whose opinions emanates fromcomprehensive research that generates empirical data. Their opinionis therefore considerably important due to the role they play inshaping professional and academic discourse about different issues inthe society that are products of body processes, social influences,and others forces that impact on people’s behavior.
Inconclusion, the state through adoption agencies should recognize thatgay adoptions face societal opposition due to the failure tounderscore inexistent differences with heterosexual adoptions. Inessence, there are no major differences between gay adoptions andheterosexual adoptions. Emphasis on straight adoptions in a mannerthat overrides the potential of gay adoptions is based on genderroles that have largely been shaped by the social constructs in thesociety about males and females. Gender as a social construct is sopervasive that it completely overshadows the justifications that makeit plausible for the society to give gay parents an opportunity toraise children like their heterosexual counterparts. For straightparents who have had a chance to adopt children were protected by theprinciple of parental autonomy. Denying the same privilege to gayparents with the same demographic features is contradictory and acase of double standards especially in an age where the Supreme Courthas set a precedent that indiscriminates the institution of marriage.Heterosexual parents sometimes join homosexual relationships. Such amove will not justify the state’s active interference unless it hasa strong bias against it.
Elovitz,M. E. (2010). Adoption by Lesbian and Gay People: The Use and Mis-Useof Social Science Research. DukeJ. Gender L. & Pol`y,2, 207.
Herek,G. M. (2000). The psychology of sexual prejudice. Currentdirections in psychological science,9(1), 19-22.
Meezan,W., & Rauch, J. (2005). Gay marriage, same-sex parenting, andAmerica`s children. TheFuture of Children,15(2), 97-113.
Rauch,J. (2004). Gaymarriage: Why it is good for gays, good for straights, and good forAmerica.Macmillan.