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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Debate: Gay Adoption

This post represents a deliberate attempt to enflame the passions of the internet and drive traffic to this blog so that I can make tons of cash from all of my advertisers.

I would also like to say (and this may sound a bit off-topic, but it has to be said): Pepsi is the most spectacularly tasty beverage ever made and Coke really can’t hold a candle to it.

Now, to the issue at hand:

I read somewhere in a report from someone to some political body in Europe that if homosexual couples are allowed to marry, and thereby gain all of the protections and rights of such a relationship, that it would be way easier for them to adopt kids. And that, in the opinion of the group responsible for this report (I don’t know who they are, but I read it on the internet so just trust me: it is very very credible), this was the primary reason to not allow homosexual couples to marry. Because we shouldn’t, in the opinion of the writers of the report, make it as easy for gay couples to adopt; that a homosexual marriage would not, in general, be a good environment in which to raise children. Maybe some gay couples would be great co-parents, but they’d be the exception, and the rule requires that this be discouraged. So: no gay marriage because no gay adoption.

This argument was not deployed during California’s Proposition 8 campaign. Not that I recall, anyway. Maybe it was. I’m not a very good payer of attention. But if it wasn’t, why not?

Is the premise true (that as a rule a gay marriage is not a good environment in which to raise children?)

Is the alternate premise true (that it is better to raise children in heterosexual families and so, as a rule, gay adoption should be impeded or at least the process more selective?)

Is the Precautionary Principle of any help here?

Do you know what else is awesome (sorry, again a little tangential)? Huggies diapers. They have Mickey Mouse on them and Erin loves Mickey Mouse.

Here’s my two cents: the opinion that an average gay marriage poses a greater risk to child development than an average heterosexual marriage is based on no respectable empirical data. Why? Because gay marriages have been so few and far between and so recent that there is no data set to sample from for us to be able to tell if the kids are turning out worse or being damaged in some particularly gay way.

And deploying the Precautionary Principle without understanding what parameters need to regulate it (I have a friend who does nothing but think about the Precautionary Principle all day long and how it is misapplied all over the world and particularly in international environmental regulations) is overzealous. At that extreme level of precaution we should also be building space defenses against alien invasion…just in case: We have no data that says aliens are likely to invade, but if they did it would be really bad.

As for a priori reasons to think that children of gay couples will, necessarily (that’s what it would mean if the reason is a priori) be damaged…what? On what grounds would we think that they’d have to turn out worse or damaged? I don’t mean on what empirical grounds, because we already know we have none of those (see above re: poverty of data sets). I mean on what logical, conceptual grounds. What is it about the concepts of parenthood, family, homosexuality, and childhood that would tell us that kids with gay parents would be worse off, as children and later as adults?

Toyota makes some pretty good cars and SUVs. We only buy Toyotas.

What do you think? Do you think, like a crazy person, that letting The Gays adopt kids is worse than the Holocaust, which, according to you, never happened? Or do you think that every loving couple who wants to raise children is perfectly suited to do so (which is what you should think if you are at all intelligent and not a total racist)? You are either one or the other. You are either a crazy Holocaust denier racist or a rational human being.

Which one are you? Please explain your reasons.

Also, please buy Pepsi, Huggies, and Toyotas.


Rachel said...

I only buy Toyotas also. They are excellent.

I feel like (and I'm basing this on nothing, just like the people who wrote that article you read) the no-gay-adoption people are scared that gay couples will create gay children...but what about all those wholesome heterosexual married couples churning out gay children?

Anonymous said...

Toyotas are pretty great, but I beg to differ on the Coke/Pepsi perspective.

And really, all those heterosexual marriages that are perfect and happy and produce perfect children? That is what we should be focusing on. If all Teh Gays would see how great heterosexuality is and how perfect the children are from those marriages, then they would have to change their ways and there would be nothing to debate.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

Pepsi rawks and so do Toyotas. We're practically related we have so much in common.

I vote for kids to be in a family where the adult(s) love them.

No other requirements. Just love.
Your welcome! : )

gopg8r said...

Wow. You should totally write polls. Your options for us to choose are so free of any personal judgement. :o)

Backpacking Dad said...

@gopg8r: I'm nothing if not completely fair, impartial, and unbiased on this and every other issue.

Jo said...

My Tae-Kwon Do teacher recently married her female partner of many years; between them, they had raised the partner's two children from a previous marriage, said children now being aged 18 and 20. (My teacher and her partner got together at least 10 years ago) These two kids are happy, healthy and balanced - the 18 year old is responsible and mature enough to be the assistant instructor for our TKD group. I can see in no way that they have been "damaged" by the fact that their mother has married a woman.

Surely the whole point is that the children are loved and cared for, brought up in an environment which respects them and teaches them to respect others?

And Toyotas rock - our Toyota Carina is 16 years old and is the most reliable car I have ever driven.

Mum-me said...

Well firstly, pepsi tastes like soapy water. But huggies are great and so are toyotas.

I read a report once that said there was a higher percentage of breakups in homosexual relationships than hetrosexual, so based on that (if it is indeed true) I would agree that it's not a good idea to allow homosexual couples to adopt - I've just seen too many children messed up by the seperation/divorce of their parents.

momcat said...

Part of raising kids is showing them all the options available to them. I didnt turn our exactly like my parents. I have told my kids - keep what you think I did right and improve on what you think I did wrong. What about all the kids being brought up by single parents. If a gay single person wants to adopt would they be allowed to. And what about people wanting to adopt across the race line. Is is better to keep kids institutionalised than to give them the opportunity to grow up in a normal home environment with an adult that cares about them. The only prerequisite for adoption should be that the person is not a paedophile or child abuser and nothing else.

SciFi Dad said...

I wrote about a very similar topic a couple of years ago. It was about legislation in Scotland that would force all agencies to consider same-sex couples or be forced to close. The Catholic agencies were opposed and quoted as being willing to close rather than consider same-sex couples., the article link is dead, sort of... the story is gone, but the comments remain (very odd).

Basically, my position is the same as yours: same-sex couples should be allowed to load up on Pepsi and drive their Toyota around while wearing Huggies so they don't need to stop anywhere, just like the rest of us.

MereCat said...

Why would want to regulate what gay people do anymore than hetero people? I know plenty of hetero households that are unsuitable for children, yet the heteros continue to have children with no regulation whatsoever. And not only that, the adoption process is so rigorous as it is, you pretty much have to be a gleaming ray of eternal sunshine to be accepted anyways, so I think that would take care of the households. gay or hetero, that are unsuitable (whatever) for adoption.

I love diet pepsi.

Nibblet's Mom said...

I have to say that the only requirement for adopting a child should be a stable and loving environment. Sexual orientation is only one aspect of an individual, you should be judged a viable adoptive parent on the sum of your parts, not part of the whole.

As a mommy to 10 month old adopted child, the hurdles to jump in the adoption process are already so daunting that many people can't or won't complete the process. Let's not forget the lack of unending financial resources required to adopt make many unable to pursue adoption, whether they be straight or gay.

To those who say that homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt, I say this: Fine, I will be happy to help you complete your paperwork to adopt the many children you are denying a home to. And because you are a frightened bigot, I will personally be doing the follow-up homestudies so we can see how damaged your children are having been raised in a household of intolerance, hatred, and fear.

Nibblet's Mom said...

Oh and I forgot to mention: Huggies Rock, Toyotas Rule, and well if evil had a flavor it would taste like diet pepsi.

bejewell said...

How DARE you write something so incendiary and offensive? I can't believe the lengths that some people will go to, just for a little blog traffic.

Clearly Pampers is the better choice. They have ELMO, for godssake.


SP said...

All the crazy Holocaust denier racists should be forced to drive a Gremlin and drink RC.

I'm well past the pampers stage but my mom will be heading towards the depends soon. Any opinion on those?

Diet Pepsi is heaven in a glass. And when you add Jack Daniels, the angels sing!

T with Honey said...

I bought Luvs diapers and don't drink soda anymore. And I'm going to be a glutton for punishment and attempt to lay out the logic behind denying homosexual couples an adoption.

The basis behind the argument is that the BEST environment for a child to grow up in is one that has a loving mother and a loving father - a heterosexual married couple. Key word: best
By allowing a homosexual couple to adopt then that child is automatically denied the BEST family environment possible.

Is it better than sitting in a orphanage? Tossed from one foster home to another? Living with a heterosexual couple where the parents are never around, the mom is a closet drunk and the dad is always out of town for work?
Sure. But the adoption agencies don't have a magical crystal ball to know for sure if one couple would provide a more loving, nurturing environment than another couple. They make a best guess based on interviews, paperwork, what-not.

Yes, by that same token single Hollywood millionaires should not be allowed to adopt.

Karen said...

When my girls were diaper age i liked Luvs. So many less leaks..

Coke in a glass bottle is like crack to me.

I own a ford, want my nissan back.

Kids should be adopted to who loves them. Background checks are the most important, who cares if their gay or not. Its ridiculous how people try to control others lives. Tons of kids need a family and they (the man :D ) are keeping these kids away from potentially loving families.

Froster said...

For the record, statistics that indicate that gay marriages break up quicker than heterosexual marriages lack something...the human element. Marriage is a novelty to the gay community, something new and exciting to be embraced; this sometimes means younger couples that have not put in as much time as they perhaps should forming a strong relationship with their partner end up getting married too soon. For lack of a better analogy, it's rather like someone who JUST turned 21 binge drinking on their birthday. They won't always drink like that, but it's a novelty.

Additionally, I know several couples who *knew* they would divorce before they even married. They joined the lawsuits and the droves of couples lining up to be married to help the better the chances of marriage being legalized.

Just some insight into the "gay couples break up faster" argument.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a 29 year old lesbian.

PS...My current girlfriend and I are contemplating joining the lawsuit in Louisiana over marital rights. We've only been dating 2 months and we know we'd probably end up divorcing, but it's about rights for us, not longevity.

Headless Mom said...

And I thought we were friends.

But friends don't let friends drink Pepsi.

RobMonroe said...

Boo. You're empirical data used above is completely out of date and uncharacteristic of someone who I thought I knew really, really (internet) well. Where on earth did you come up with the crap you just spewed above:

Coke is much better than Pepsi!

The government needs to get out of "marrying" people and deciding who can and can nod adopt and focus on better things, and I don't mean steroid use in baseball.

If there is a family that is willing to adopt, can afford to adopt, and does not have a history of drinking Pepsi as preference, they should be allowed to adopt.

Cloth diapers top disposables and are just as easy, I promise. We rock the Target brand on vacation, they have bugs on them. Not live ones...

kyooty said...

You know there are a lot of kids with no parents at all, I dont' care who raises them as long as children are loved and feel secure and grow up healthy and happy.
Coke is better! :)

Emily said...

Not sure about Toyotas having never had one but you are dead wrong about Pepsi - disgusting stuff.

The gay people shouldn't be allowed to adopt arguement always makes me laugh. Because obvisouly hetrosexual people never abuse children - and they never do so because of their sexual orientation right?

Two married gay friends of ours got pregnant using IVF but they had to have counselling beforehand because they were gay which seemed incredibly unfair. I'm tired of the whole one rule for some attitude. And I'm holding out on the diaper debate as we're going cloth!

Trueself said...

Well, you are just so very very wrong on one thing. Coke totally rocks and Pepsi sucks.

As an adoptive parent, I know something about the rigorous requirements that anyone who wants to adopt must go through to prove fitness to be a parent. As opposed, you know, to those who are able to just pop them out of their bellies at random with no scrutiny or training in parental skills. My point here, and I do have one, is that for a gay couple to adopt they will have to go through the same process we (a man/woman couple) went through. I guarantee that any couple -- gay, straight, alien, whatever -- who gets through the process will not be perfect (who is?) but has a damned sure better shot at being a decent parent than some biological parents I know.

I say where there are kids who need loving parents we ought to let the people prepared to be loving parents adopt them.

Kimberly said...

Great post. I consider myself among the rational. However, I only drink Coke Zero. Not Diet Coke...ick...and I was a fan of Pampers when my girls were small and we like German cars but not the Holocaust.

I think any couple in love and of rational age should be allowed to be legally married and/or adopt children. They should also be eligible to receive the appropriate health benefits and be welcome during visiting hours at the hospital.

Gay couples do not create gay babies. If that were a rule, the opposite would have to apply as well - that all heterosexual couples create heterosexual babies.

Fear is a scary thing.

Swirl Girl said...

I think Huggies rule because they have leak proof leg holes and Sesame Street babies on them.

I think gay people should be allowed to screw up their kids the same way that hetero people have.

Mrs. Flinger said...

Dude, tell me a heterosexual couple that runs a methlab is better than a loving gay couple.

Right. I'm rational. Kids will thrive where they are loved. The end.

Also, starbucks. I love starbucks. Delicious caffeine in a high calorie beverage. Yum.

CatrinkaS said...

I cannot imagine restricting sane, capable adults from adopting children. "Wards of the state" are more at-risk, and therefore provide more longer-term societal risk than do children raised by loving parents - regardless.

I drink Coke, religiously. I was a Huggies person, until I discovered Kirkwood diapers - based apparently on the Huggies model. I drive VW's, even though I believe in the Holocaust (as a thing that happened, not as an idea.) AND - I recently blogged on gay marriage and gay adoption - check my link.

Good thoughts your way - and kudos for being on the side of Right. (Often in conflict with The Right.)

Deb on the Rocks said...

Dykes prefer Subaru.

My friend is walking tomorrow --earned her Ph.D with a disseration using thousands of hours of videotaped and coded interactions to compare and assess Parenting Styles of Lesbian Parents with Young Children. The upshot is if Bobby has 2 mommies he's probably a lucky boy.

Here's a link to an interesting article among the jillions she has sent me in the last few years:
"Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the three decades of research showing that children of gay or lesbian parents are just as mentally healthy as children with heterosexual parents, notes Cerbone. One such study, published in Child Development (Vol. 75, No. 6, pages 1,886–1,898) in 2004, compares a group of 44 teenagers with same-sex couples as parents with an equal number of teenagers with opposite-sex couples as parents. All participants were part of a national, randomly selected sample of teenagers from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health."So glad my kids are long out of diapers. So glad.

You are supa slick with that blogging PR. You should teach a class!

Mbdiamond said...

I don't think I can read you any more... not after what I've read today.

signed, your former lurker,

Die-hard coke fan.


MelADramatic Mommy said...

I can't even type I'm laughing so hard. We just got a Toyota and I have to say, I'm very impressed. We were Pampers people, and I don't drink soda. Can I ask where you stand on the Mac versus PC issue? I'm torn.

There are children whose little spirits are dying while they wait in the "system" for someone to love them. This comparison to gay vs. hetero is like saying I'm not fit to parent because I'm in a bi-racial marriage. And that? Is just plain stupid.

Rachel said...

I absolutely think gay couples should be able to adopt. Of course the social workers should deem the home acceptable (just like they do with heterosexual couples).
There are so many children in foster care who need homes. Many of them grow out of the system without ever having a family. Is no home better than being placed with homosexual parents? I don't think so. If growing up with homosexual parents makes you gay, then why do so many gay people grow up with straight parents? Doesn't make sense.
P.S. I LOVE Pepsi too. We also buy Huggies but sometimes buy the Kirkland brand from Costco (which is basically the same diaper but cheaper-you should try it).

Jill said...

Oh lord... you lost me at the something or other principle. Which I can always remember to spell correctly thanks to the "Principal is your PAL" pneumonic device. Thank you and goodnight.

Jill said...

Oh... and you're so wrong about Pepsi. Diet Coke is the reigning beverage. Nectar of the Gods. For reals... check your little college text books. You'll find that it's true!

Gretchen said...

It's a slippery slope, first the gays, then the coke drinkers, then the VW drivers, adopted babies in pampers.....where would it end.

Andrea said...

Where did the "authority" who wrote that original article think all these gay couples originated from who are now wanting to marry and adopt? The moon??? Gays R Us? No, they came from a couple of "breeders" like you and me who had a family and raised them like everyone else. Gays do not breed other gay people. Gays do not happen because of their "environment" around them. They are born that way just like I was born "fun sized" (short) with brown hair and green eyes.

Being gay is not a choice they make. They wouldn't choose to be rejected by their families, their friends, and depending on how they were raised, their God.

I know a whole hell of a lot of gay people who are more emotionally sound and ready to be raising children then some of these idiots out there getting pregnant and raising families. Look at the idiot Octo mom and her bajillion babies. Nuff said.

I don't see how leaving thousands of children in foster homes and orphanages is a better choice for them then letting a gay couple go through the same ropes a straight couple can to adopt.

LOVE is what makes a family, a family. Not a persons sexual preference, not the color of their skin, not their bank account. LOVE..

And dude... You are so off base! Coke is sooooo much better then Pepsi!

Backpacking Dad said...

@T with Honey: I understand that there is a premise at work (hetero married couples provide the best, in general, environment, for children) but that's the very premise that I'm talking about here:

It's either backed up by empirical data (which is either unlikely, since the data doesn't say anything of the sort) or it's somehow necessarily true (it cannot be false) because of the concepts involved. But there is nothing obvious about the concepts involved that would tell us that it is true, necessarily, that children are, in general, better off with married hetero couples than with married homosexual couples.

For some people it does seem obvious that children are better off, in general, with hetero married couples. That that is the best environment. And so that should be the goal of placement for adopted children. But there is a logical gap |______| between the premises and conclusion. What is it about heterosexauality that makes this the case?

No Mother Earth said...

Sorry, man. Coke, Pampers and anything BUT Toyota over here.

Jaan said...

I am so mad at you I thought you be a smart man, but to put out this garbage that Pepsi is better than Coke the Soda Pop of the gods, you jest sir! I will continue to read your blog but I will be watching, coke is the real thing and the tasty thing.

Elisa said...

I don't drink soft drinks, but Toyotas are pretty good. The rest I don't know, I have a headache so I'm not ready to weigh in on that.

Miss Grace said...

You know what would be an even BETTER inflammatory debate? If you took this argument further and said that if heterosexual marriage is the only healthy place to raise children, single parents REALLY ought to have their children taken away (or even unmarried couples who reproduce? Discuss,) and be sterilized, just for good measure.

Toyota's are awesome.

LiteralDan said...

If gay couples can't adopt, they'll just have to have their own children via donors and surrogates. Meanwhile children already born sit and wait for "traditional" families who'll never grow to include them, especially in this economy.

We may as well take each couple on their own merits as we do now, and put children in as positive an environment as we can.

Oh, and P.S. Huggies are a horrible waste of materials and money, right along with Pampers-- generic diapers or Luvs are where it's at! And I only ever drive Pepsis.

Faiqa said...

"You are either a crazy Holocaust denier racist or a rational human being." Hahaha. This has got to be the best sentence I've read ALL year.

I think the assertion that same sex couples would be unfit parents is completely ridiculous. I see no merit in it. Whatsoever.

Furthermore, I only drive German cars, use cloth diapers and drink Tab. Clearly, I live outside of the box. :)

Lunasea said...

All the screwed-up kids in my practice, so far, have been from heterosexual couples. So I believe we can generalize to the entire population and say that only straight couples screw up their kids.

P.S. my word verification is hopho. Hah.

Anonymous said...

I hear all sorts of stuff about fears that gay parents will 'teach' children to be gay. I hear all sorts of stuff about gay parents 'molesting' children they adopt. I hear this stuff, and it's all SHIT. You are right-we have no empirical evidence to back up these statements.
I get so damn pissed to think of all of the children growing up in the foster care system, who could be adopted by a loving couple, whether that couple is gay or not.
I am tired of the gay debate. I am tired of people judging people. I am tired of all of the hate, I really am. Let them marry; let them bear children, adopt them, raise them. Love is LOVE, damn it.

La Petite Belle said...

ha! Pepsi is way better than Coke. Agreed. On the gay adoption issue, I am torn. But I am a supporter of Gay Marriage.

RebTurtle said...

I love that people think that orphanages are so overused by heterosexuals that the leftover kids will be better off in them than with caring, capable, homosexual couples. That's great "family values" for you. I hate that marriage is so intertwined with this legal wrangling, considering it is a poster child for issues concerning separation of church and state. Marriage is a religious contract. How is it legal for me, as an atheist, to be happily (miserable) married, but a gay couple is denied that right? It doesn't matter in the eyes of the lay what religion you practice, your sexual preference shouldn't either.

Oh and, Kirkland, Coke, and Honda!

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you. I am currently enrolled in school and am writing a paper on same sex marriage. I have been searching the internet for information regarding this topic and I stumbled upon your blog. The first two sentences made me laugh. Thank you for brightening my boring research filled night. haha

Anonymous said...

I have to tell you. I am currently enrolled in school and am writing a paper on same sex marriage. I have been searching the internet for information regarding this topic and I stumbled upon your blog. The first two sentences made me laugh. Thank you for brightening my boring research filled night. haha