Gay Adoption Debate and Poll
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Researchers estimate that the total number of children nationwide living with at least one gay parent ranges from six to 14 million.
The vast majority of states no longer deny custody or visitation to a person based on sexual orientation. State agencies and courts now apply a "best interest of the child" standard to decide these cases. Under this approach, a person's sexual orientation cannot be the basis for ending or limiting parent-child relationships unless it is demonstrated that it causes harm to a child. Using this standard, more than 22 states to date have allowed lesbians and gay men to adopt children either through state-run or private adoption agencies.
Florida's 1977 law is the only law in the nation that bans gays and lesbians from adopting children
-- passed in the wake of Anita Bryant's "Save Our Children" campaign against gay rights -- bans any gay man or lesbian from adopting.
Currently, six states around the country (Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah) are considering or have recently considered bans on gay and lesbian foster care and/or adoption. parents.
All of the research to date has reached the same unequivocal conclusion about gay parenting: the children of lesbian and gay parents grow up as successfully as the children of heterosexual parents. In fact, not a single study has found the children of lesbian or gay parents to be disadvantaged because of their parents' sexual orientation. Other key findings include:
There is no evidence to suggest that lesbians and gay men are unfit to be parents.
Home environments with lesbian and gay parents are as likely to successfully support a child's development as those with heterosexual parents.
Good parenting is not influenced by sexual orientation. Rather, it is influenced most profoundly by a parent's ability to create a loving and nurturing home -- an ability that does not depend on whether a parent is gay or straight.
There is no evidence to suggest that the children of lesbian and gay parents are less intelligent, suffer from more problems, are less popular, or have lower self-esteem than children of heterosexual parents.
The children of lesbian and gay parents grow up as happy, healthy and well-adjusted as the children of heterosexual parents.
Social science evidence agrees that the best environment for the well-being of children is a household with both a mother and a father. A homosexual environment, on the other hand, can model homosexual behavior to children. In a study published in the January 1996 issue of Developmental Psychology, London researchers Susan Golombok and Fiona Tasker found that children raised by a homosexual parent were much more likely to experiment with homosexual behavior themselves. Based on their findings, Golombok and Tasker acknowledge that “by creating a climate of acceptance or rejection of homosexuality within the family, parents may have some impact on their children’s sexual experimentation as heterosexual, lesbian or gay.” The state’s interest in protecting children should continue prohibiting homosexual couples from adopting children. Although gay advocates say that some children will be “languishing in foster homes,” if willing, any homosexual could apply to adopt these hard-to-place children. This is because single persons — including a homosexual — can already qualify to be an adoptive parent (this is already occurring, primarily in the San Francisco and Los Angeles areas). Therefore, the push for homosexual couples to jointly adopt children is actually a back-door strategy to gain the rights and benefits of homosexual “marriage.” In addition, unmarried heterosexual couples living together should not be allowed to adopt because how can they commit their lives to a child when they refuse to commit to each other in marriage? California needs to continue the current policy where children are adopted by married couples first, and second by singles whom case workers judge to have a healthy home.
Stability is the key to raising an emotionally and mentally healthy child; unmarried and homosexual partners simply cannot provide the stability that married heterosexual couples can give. "Children need a role model, both male and female. Every child has the right to both a mother and a father,". Homosexual activists put their personal desires above the rights of these children to have a chance at a normal family life with a father and mother.
Like other adults in this country, the majority of lesbians and gay men are in stable committed relationships. Of course some of these relationships have problems, as do some heterosexual relationships. The adoption and foster care screening process is very rigorous, including extensive home visits and interviews of prospective parents. It is designed to screen out those individuals who are not qualified to adopt or be foster parents, for whatever reason. All of the evidence shows that lesbians and gay men can and do make good parents. The American Psychological Association, in a recent report reviewing the research, observed that "not a single study has found children of gay or lesbian parents to be disadvantaged in any significant respect relative to children of heterosexual parents," and concluded that "home environments provided by gay and lesbian parents are as likely as those provided by heterosexual parents to support and enable children's psychosocial growth." That is why the Child Welfare League of America, the nation's oldest children's advocacy organization, and the North American Council on Adoptable Children say that gays and lesbians seeking to adopt should be evaluated just like other adoptive applicants.
A mountain of social science, the world’s major religions, common sense and observation tell us that children have the best chance to thrive in married, mother-and-father-based families. Why not give kids the best possible chance at a normal, healthy family life instead of using them to make a cultural statement?”
Children without homes do not have the option of choosing between a married mother and father or some other type of parent(s). These children have neither a mother nor a father, married or unmarried. There simply are not enough married mothers and fathers who are interested in adoption and foster care. Our adoption and foster care policies must deal with reality, or these children will never have stable and loving homes.
“It’s a myth that hard-to-place children would have no other option,” “Groups like Adopt America (1-800-246-1731 or firstname.lastname@example.org) have hundreds of married couples who are willing to take even HIV-positive children.”
Right now there is a critical shortage of adoptive and foster parents in the United States. As a result, many children have no permanent homes, while others are forced to survive in an endless series of substandard foster homes. It is estimated that there are 500,000 children in foster care nationally, and 100,000 need to be adopted. But last year there were qualified adoptive parents available for only 20,000 of these children. Many of these children have historically been viewed as "unadoptable" because they are not healthy white infants. Instead, they are often minority children and/or adolescents, many with significant health problems. There is much evidence documenting the serious damage suffered by children without permanent homes who are placed in substandard foster homes. Children frequently become victims of the "foster care shuffle," in which they are moved from temporary home to temporary home. A child stuck in permanent foster care can live in 20 or more homes by the time she reaches 18. It is not surprising, therefore, that long-term foster care is associated with increased emotional problems, delinquency, substance abuse and academic problems.
According to the state of Florida's own statistics, more than 2,000 Florida children are now in foster care are awaiting adoption.
Lesbians and gay men are more likely to molest children.
There is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. All of the legitimate scientific evidence shows that. Sexual orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is an adult sexual attraction to others. Pedophilia, on the other hand, is an adult sexual attraction to children. Ninety percent of child abuse is committed by heterosexual men. In one study of 269 cases of child sexual abuse, only two offenders were gay or lesbian. Of the cases studied involving molestation of a boy by a man, 74 percent of the men were or had been in a heterosexual relationship with the boy's mother or another female relative. The study concluded that "a child's risk of being molested by his or her relative's heterosexual partner is over 100 times greater than by someone who might be identifiable as being homosexual, lesbian, or bisexual
Studies indicate that children in homosexual households are four times more likely to identify as homosexual or get involved in homosexual behavior than children raised in single-parent households.
All of the available evidence demonstrates that the sexual orientation of parents has no impact on the sexual orientation of their children and that children of lesbian and gay parents are no more likely than any other child to grow up to be gay.See Bailey, J.M., Bobrow, D., Wolfe, M. & Mikach, S. (1995), Sexual orientation of adult sons of gay fathers, Developmental Psychology, 31, 124-129; Bozett, F.W. (1987). Children of gay fathers, F.W. Bozett (Ed.), Gay and Lesbian Parents (pp. 39-57), New York: Praeger; Gottman, J.S. (1991), Children of gay and lesbian parents, F.W. Bozett & M.B. Sussman, (Eds.), Homosexuality and Family Relations (pp. 177-196), New York: Harrington Park Press; Golombok, S., Spencer, A., & Rutter, M. (1983), Children in lesbian and single-parent households: psychosexual and psychiatric appraisal, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 24, 551-572; Green, R. (1978), Sexual identity of 37 children raised by homosexual or transsexual parents, American Journal of Psychiatry, 135, 692-697; Huggins, S.L.