Listening to Jason Lewis on the radio last night, I desperately wanted to call in and tell him how wrong he was. While discussing the redefining of marriage, he stated that homosexual couples should be free to marry but not allowed to adopt children. He quoted one of the only robust studies done on children raised by homosexual parents as his reasoning. I think the study is probably correct — children raised by 2 males or 2 females do not do as well as a whole as children raised by a mother and a father. However, my personal thought is that almost any group of children does worse than the whole on average — children raised by 1 parent, children raised by very young parents, children raised by very old parents, children raised by grandparents, children raised by actors, children raised by very wealthy parents, children raised by very poor parents, children raised by divorced parents — all of these groups when pulled out of the whole do worse than the whole in some key life measurements. But that’s not why Jason was wrong. I am shocked at how he missed this: By not allowing gay couples to adopt, you are limiting the freedom of the birth mother!
A large percentage of adoptions are open. In fact, many birth mothers hand-pick the placement family either through an adoption agency or by finding the family on their own. By not allowing gay couples to adopt, you are limiting the rights of the birth mother who ultimately decides who will raise the child. No birth mother should be forced to pick a homosexual couple to raise her child, but she should also not be prohibited from doing so. Adoption agencies also should not be forced to take gay couples as clients, nor should they be prohibited from doing so. In fact, adoption agencies should not be forced to take heterosexual couples as clients. Agencies could specialize in placing children with homosexual couples while other agencies specialize in placing children with heterosexual couples, while others do both.
And Jason, how would you enforce this? Would single individuals that adopt be forced to identify their sexual orientation prior to adopting? What if they lie? What if they later decide they are homosexual and had previously been living a lie? Would children then be taken out of their adoptive homes?
While I still do not agree with the redefining of marriage to include homosexual unions, I do not believe anyone should be denied the chance to raise a child because of their sexual preferences (assuming you have a willing birth mother or surrogate).
On a side note, by legalizing gay marriage, the MN Legislature has given my single, wealthy, elderly father the perfect means to pass me my inheritance without it being subject to the “death tax”….I might be getting divorced soon and my dad will be getting re-married on August 1st:-) Come on — I can’t be the first on who thought of that!