Essay, Research Paper: Gay`s Adoption

Sexuality

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“When a gay couple sought to adopt a boy- who had leukemia, had been neglected
by his biological parents, had lived in five foster homes, and whose adoption
was favored by his legal representative- the judge deemed it ‘not in the
interest of a seven-year-old male child to be placed for adoption into the home
of a pair of adult male homosexual lovers.’”(Utne 58) Three years of
searching for a qualified heterosexual couple failed. This and many other
similar cases have denied children a family by ignoring many qualified
homosexuals. With this being an age when people are supposedly more open-minded,
why is it that gays are treated this way just because of their sexual
orientation? Many Americans are still uncomfortable with the idea of gay
parents. The traditional family has always included a mother and a father.
However, today more and more families are being headed by gay parents. Some have
children from previous marriages. Many must use artificial insemination or
surrogate mothers because it is extremely difficult for gays to adopt children.
Although it seems to contradict society’s view of the traditional family,
homosexuals should be allowed to adopt because they deserve equal rights, and
sexual orientation is not a reasonable determining factor in the qualifications
of a parent. Also, allowing them to adopt can actually help society. “Surveys
suggest that a large majority of the American public generally favor
anti-discrimination laws.”(Harris 2) Why then, according to a Newsweek survey,
do only 36% of those surveyed think gay couples should have the right to adopt?
Samuel Chavers, assistant general counsel for Children and Families, says
“adoption is not a right; it’s a privilege.” If this is true, there is
still not a rational basis for denying homosexuals the “privilege” to adopt.
It is clearly an anti-gay bias. Although only two states specifically ban
adoption by gays, most states discourage it. Just as blacks and women have
fought for equal rights, gays are now struggling to do the same. It is unfair to
single out a group of people with many members who would make great parents.
Since we live in a world where “all men are created equal”, homosexuals
should enjoy the same rights as heterosexuals. Gays face discrimination because
of their sexual preferences, and they must also face the qualifications for
adopting. “June Amer has a son of her own, whom she and her partner have
raised. They wanted to adopt a second child. Amer truthfully filled out an
application form that asked whether she was a homosexual. Her application was
immediately rejected.”(Fitzgerald 1B) This was a woman who had already proved
to be a good parent and who lived in a healthy environment. She could have
provided much-needed care for another child. Her only characteristic that did
not meet the qualifications was that she had a female lover. Because of this
reason, many qualified applicants are being turned down. It is great that people
are willing to adopt children, but it is terrible that this one qualification is
stopping so many of them. “Sexual orientation alone doesn’t make a person a
good or bad parent.”(Kantrowitz 57) “Hedy Weinberg, executive director of
the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, agrees. ‘The goal should be
to identify those homes that would provide nurturing environments. The
determination should not be sexual orientation.’”(Wagner 1) Adoption
agencies need to quit using sexual orientation as a factor. A family is a
family. That is exactly what so many children today are in need of: a family.
“There are now 36,000 children in this country- in foster homes or
institutions- who are free for adoption.(Utne 54) These children need the love
that homosexuals can provide just as well as heterosexuals. If the many willing
gays could adopt these children, it would help our society by lessening the
problem of children without families. A home is much better than an institution,
or worse, the streets. It would also help by diversifying society. All people
are not the same, so why should all families have to be the same? If children
are adopted by gay parents, more people will become accepting and open-minded
towards different lifestyles. Society will definitely be positively affected the
day that homosexuals can freely adopt. There are many reasons why people believe
gays should not freely adopt. A major argument is that children need a male and
female figure in their lives in order to develop emotionally. This is true, but
most gays have family members and friends who can provide that role. “Most
same-sex parents say they make a special effort to ensure that their kids learn
to relate to adults of the opposite sex.”(Kantrowitz 57) Melissa Etheridge and
her partner, Julie Cypher, explain that their kids “will not live in a girl
vacuum.”(Kantrowitz 55) Many people worry that being brought up by gay parents
will cause children to be gay. Much study has been done on this issue.
“Researchers have not found any more or less of a tendency in children brought
up by gays to be homosexual themselves.”(Harris 4) Also, some believe that it
is too traumatic for kids to have gay parents. What about being traumatized by
an abusive alcoholic father? They hardly compare. For those who say that the
children will be uncomfortable having gay parents, they are the ones who make
the kids uncomfortable. “Gays say that what makes their children uncomfortable
is not homosexuality itself but society’s intolerant attitude toward
it.”(Henry 69) People need to realize that there are not really any verifiable
reasons for keeping gays from adopting. It is discouraging that there are only a
few hundred documented adoptions by open gays. However, hopefully in the near
future many more homosexuals and kids without parents will be able to have what
they deserve: a family. “‘I would like the day to come when there’s
nothing to talk about, period,’ said Jeff Carron, an adoptive father.
‘Whether I’m married to Susan or Steve, big deal. Am I nice? Am I good? Am I
a loving parent? That’s the important thing.’”(Harris 2) Adoption By Gays:
It’s Okay Final Exam Lindsey DeBerry Dr. Moss 6th Period December 15, 1997
Outline Intro: states thesis; shows my position I.Equal Rights A.Newsweek survey
B.adoption is a privilege C.unfair to single out gays II.Qualifications A.June
Amer B.qualified applicants turned down C.sexual orientation as a factor
III.Helpful for Society A.36,000 children B.diversify society C.make people
accepting IV.Counterarguments and Refutes A.male and female figures B.children
becoming gay C.traumatic D.uncomfortable.Bibliography“A Child at Any Cost?”. Utne Reader. November/December,1991. pp.52-60.
“Bill Would Bar Known Gay Foster Parents”. Herald-Courier. Wagner,Rick.
February 6,1997. “Families Come Out”. Newsweek. Kantrowitz,Barbara. November
4,1996. pp.51-7. “Gay Parents: Under Fire and On The Rise”. Time. Henry,
William A., III. September 20,1993. pp.66-70. “Mother Sues For the Right to
Adopt Second Child”. Sun- Sentinel. Fitzgerald, Henry Jr. May 6, 1997. p.1B.
“Two Moms or Two Dads- And a Baby”. Los Angeles Times. Harris, Scott.
October 20,1991. pp.
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