Gay Adoption

In my last blog post I made a comment that, in hindsight, somewhat surprises me hasn’t received more criticism : “I think there are very strong arguments that can be made to say placing a child with a loving gay couple is preferable to them languishing as a ward of the state.” With the current political climate, would certainly have thought this would have generated a bit more feedback then it did – but no matter.

Having said that though, I have been thinking about the matter a bit more recently, and would appreciate your thoughts/comments/feedback.

My position on the issue of gay adoption has generally been as one against – traditional conservative arguments of a child having the right to a mother and a father and so forth. It was actually on this topic that I had my first ever published letter to the editor of a newspaper.  Having said that, it was an issue I generally conceded conservatives were on the losing end of politically, and was never one I actively pursued (besides, my political interests are generally economic anyway).

In any event, I decided, as I occasionally do with issues, to revisit this on an intellectual level, and it occurred to me perhaps that I was framing the issue the wrong way. Rather than looking at it as traditional family vs gay adoption, it should be looked at in the following manner: is a child better off as a ward of the state, or in a gay family?

From this perspective, I can say – without any doubt in my mind whatsoever – that I know longstanding, stable, loving gay/lesbian couples who would certainly be far more caring, more loving, and more capable parents who would be better for children compared to unwanted children been left in a state institution, or in foster care etc. So, if I was to accept that the choice was between ward of the state, and gay adoption, the rational choice would be that of gay adoption – the lesser of two evils, if you will. Looking at it from the position of such a dichotomy, is there really a choice? .

I do not shy away from the fact that a tenant of my religious belief is the sanctity of heterosexual family. Religious agencies involved in placing children in adoption should certainly have the right to choose who they send children too. This is a fundamentl principle of religious liberty that should never be encroached on by the state. Similarly, I would certainly never sanction a Church organisation  I was involved in to participate in such adoptions. The question here, however, is not religious, but one of public policy.  Indeed, Christians have long learned to accept the state placing children in the homes of not-so-ideal citizens. Perhaps this is just another instance of this? We are, after all, all sinners – every one. Can we really argue that this one is that much worse? I mean, can we really argue that it is better for a child to be a ward of the state than in a family that loves him, even if we disagree with some of their practices? As Christians, can we really argue that having them cared for by the atheist state is any improvement? Perhaps, if we truly care for the next generation, allowing gay adoption is the best way forward?

I writing this unconvinced one way or the other, and raise this as an issue for your input so I may be better able to make up my mind. This, like so many blog post, is merely the outward manifestation of interior musings. As always, I await your response…

The only other thing I would amend on my post is where I say “I know longstanding, stable, loving gay/lesbian couples who would certainly be far more caring, more loving, and more capable parents…” etc. I should have said something more along the lines of “who are equal to, or would be better, than many hetrosexual parents I know.” I will post an update to reflect this.

Update: What if gay adoption was shown to decrease the abortion rate? Ie more easily available adoption, less need for abortion etc. Would that change the dynamics of the debate?

Update 2: This blog does have a comment feature you know, you don’t need to send me flames through facebook or email…

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11 Responses to “Gay Adoption”

  1. Tomi Says:

    lesser of two evils?
    not-so-ideal citizens?

    how liberal of you to allow that it might be ok in preference to atheism and state care, despite the fact that it ultimately is against your own high moral standards!

  2. Tomi Says:

    you realise you posted this on my birthday?
    happy birthday, yourself, for tomorrow.

  3. Tim Andrews Says:

    Tomi,
    Fair point. I certainly will concede I should have worded that better. The point you pull me up on, however, was one directed at religious people who believe it should be illegal on the grounds of religious beliefs, and was not to be taken as a general statement. Again, could have worded it better, but it was targeted specifically at that.

    The only other thing I would amend on my post is where I say “I know longstanding, stable, loving gay/lesbian couples who would certainly be far more caring, more loving, and more capable parents…” etc. I should have said something more along the lines of “who are equal to, or would be better, than many hetrosexual parents I know.” I will post an update to reflect this.

    Oh and happy birthday to you too 🙂

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  5. Catriona Rafael Says:

    The fact that you’re undecided about the issue is a good sign, Tim m’dear 🙂

  6. Tim Says:

    Tim,

    This is a different Tim. Interesting.

    As I udnerstand it there is no shortage of qualified parents (however you choose to definite them), but a shortage of children. There is a lack of supply of children up for adoption, rather than a lack of demand for the children.

    I don’t claim to be an authority on this, I have friends who have been trying for a while to adopt a child. Should be google-able…

    Would this change your views?

    Tim

  7. Tim Andrews Says:

    My understanding – particularly in the US – is that whilst there isn’t a shortage of qualified parents who want a nice healthy baby whose parents come from a relatively well off socioeconomic group etc, there is a chronic shortage for people willing to take in children from more ‘undesirable’ parents. I think there’s also a problem in Australia of a bureaucratic regime that is not exactly friendly to those who want to adopt.

    But I don’t have any stats – I’ll have a look around google and see what I can find.

  8. John Humphreys Says:

    I think it would be ideal for a child to have one father and one mother. It would also be ideal if those parents were perfect.

    But all parents will have positives and negatives when it comes to bringing up a child. Not supplying a child with a mum & dad should constitute a negative in my opinion… but that needs to be weighed against the other positives and negatives of the prospective adopter(s).

    I can’t see a role for government here. Let each agency decide. But if you MUST have government regulation, then at least have it at a decentralised level so we have jurisdictional competition.

  9. Jake the Muss Says:

    I think it’s time for a complete free market in babies.

    Tim: Are they just threatening the church’s tax status or are they threatening to remove its ability to act as an adoption agency?

  10. Bee Says:

    Agree with John.

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