While there are many legal and personal beliefs that go into the debate of gay adoption, the majority stem from conservative religious views. America is viewed as being a Catholic nation, even though the majority do not attend services on a regular basis, resulting in many religious ideologies being adopted by the government as a moral foundation ("News and Opinions: Society "). Despite the fact that our constitution explicitly states that there should be separation between church and state, religious beliefs have been integrated into legislation that actively denies the ‘unalienable rights’ of many US citizens. However, despite the various religiously conservative reasons for opposing gay adoption, studies from well-respected institutions like Duke University (Patterson 1995 and Elovitz 1995) and the National Adoption Center ("The Facts About LBGT Adoption") are starting to change that by publishing findings that directly refute many of the religious claims.
The main argument against gay adoption rests predominately on the idea that gay couples are unable to provide a healthy living environment for a child. Again, this ties back into the religious narrative of our nation which views homosexuality as an immoral act due to the ‘infallibility’ of the bible to be god’s word. Citing the Ten Commandments ‘Honor Thy Mother and Father’ as the main evidence for the moral standing, religious conservatives continually reiterate that homosexuality goes against god’s intended plan ("News and Opinions: Society "). As a result, conservatives believe that because gay couples are living in sin, they are incapable of providing the same love as a heterosexual couple while also corrupting the moral integrity of the child.
Despite their religious fervor, Duke University (Elovitz 1995) recently came out with a study in their Journal of Gender Law and Policy showing that there is no psychological or other negative affects associated with gay parenting (Elovitz 211). According to Marc Elovitz, no study ever has shown any harm came to a child solely on the fact that his or her parents were homosexuals (Elovitz 211). In addition, Elovitz found that lesbian and gay parenting skills are at the very least equivalent to heterosexual couples with no significant psychological differences between the children (Elovitz 211). In addition, the National Adoption Center is now supporting the rights and effectiveness of homosexual parents by interviewing them as examples of positive and successful adoption cases (“Facts About LBGT Adoption”). This not only helps to support gay and lesbian couples looking to adopt, but also helps to reverse common social stereotypes. Even further, despite the fears that a child raised with gay parents will turn out to be gay, the Duke study again found that there is no evidence to support this claim.
It is unfortunate that throughout this debate, the orphan children needing homes are being neglected. Despite the fact that living in a single family home will be more beneficial to the child than an orphanage or foster care, it is still viewed as being more beneficial to for the child to live in the orphanage than with a gay couple. However, emerging from this religious fervor are some religious leaders taking a second look. One pastor referred to as DesArcMusician stated on Revelife blog that despite the fact that homosexuals are living in sin does not mean that sinning equates to an inability to love or be good parents (DesArcMusician). With the religious followers disagreeing with gay adoption because homosexuality is a sin, DesArcMusician reminds many religious believers that heterosexual couples often times living in just as much if not more sin (DesArcMusician). Since they are still viewed as being acceptable parents, Christians shouldn’t deny homosexuals the right to a child because they live in sin. DesArchMusician I think put it well by showing that love is the main indicator of an effective parent. DesArcMusician makes a valid point as well as an important lesson to those who oppose Christian doctrines. Not all Christians are against the adoption of children by homosexual parents and despite the fact they view it as a sin, are still willing to recognize that the love between to people trumps many other personal and religious beliefs.
However, despite university studies showing the misconceptions associate with gay parenting and Christian leaders proclaiming their acceptance of gay adoption, other social issue prevent homosexual parents from adopting. Especially recently, there has been nation wide concern over bullying in schools with related efforts to prevent children suicide as a result of said bullying. Even further, many of these ‘attacks’ have been directed towards homosexual students or those who have homosexual parents. As a result, there is a national fear that by allowing gay parents to adopt children, the child will subsequently be subjected to this very bullying. Unfortunately, instead of taking initiatives to educate our youth towards LBGT issues and teach them kindness, we reject the right of two people in love to care for a child. What is even worse is that these issues do not rest solely in the social sphere of our nation, but have even been legal cited as a reason not to allow a gay couple to adopt a child.
Cited as the reason for denying custodial parenting rights to a gay man during the court case Roe v. Roe, the judge stated that,
“the conditions under which this child must live daily are not only unlawful but they also impose an intolerable burden upon the child because of ‘social condemnation which will inevitably afflict her relationship with her peers and with the community at large (Patterson 197).
What is most shocking about this case besides the legal discrimination is that this man was the biological father of the girl. The social situation in this country has become so hostile towards homosexuals that the courts will even take their own biological kids away from them. Even more shocking is that this is not the only instance of this happening as seen in the Virginia Circuit Court of Henrio County where the biological mother was denied custody over her two-year-old child because of her sexual orientation (Patterson 197).
Fortunately for gays and lesbians across the country, the atmosphere is finally starting to change. As of now, nine states have legalized same-sex marriage, which will hopefully change some of the court rulings or at least make it so judges cannot say that it is ‘unlawful’. In addition, independent adoption centers like LGBTQ Adoption ("Independent Adoption Center") work specifically with LBGTQ couples to help them realize their dreams of parenthood. In all, while the issue of gay adoption still has a lot of wrinkles to smooth out, the overarching national perspective on it is starting to change for the benefit of those gay and lesbian couples seeking to adopt.
DesArcMusician , . "A Conservative Christian's Views on Gay Adoption." Revelife. Revelife. Web. 25 Nov 2012. .
Elovitz, Marc. "Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy." Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. 2.207 (1995): 207-225. Print.
"The Facts About LBGT Adoption." National Adoption Center. National Adoption Center. Web. 25 Nov 2012. .
"Independent Adoption Center." Independent Adoption Center. Independent Adoption Center. Web. 25 Nov 2012. .
Patterson, Charlotte. "Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy." Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy. 2.191 (1995): 191-205. Print.
"Pros and Cons of Gay Adoption." News and Opinions: Society . The Week, 25 2005. Web. 28 Nov 2012. .