As legislation is slowly beginning to adjust around the world and opinions are changing in many countries, gay people can now adopt. However, there are people who disagree with this and believe that it is solely a man and woman who can raise a family. There are places worldwide, like the United Arab Emirates, who believe that the LGBT community is a disruption to societal and familial values and simply being gay there is illegal. Let’s look deeper into gay adoption.
A paper published by the Williams Institute by Gary J. Gates proclaimed that by 2013 LGBT couples in the U.S. were four times more likely to adopt a child into their family than their heterosexual counterparts. These staggering statistics shows the desire LGBT couples have to adopt and that they are increasingly successful in doing so. While gay adoption is more common than straight adoption this does not mean that it is easy for same-sex couples to adopt. There are still many hurdles for LGBT couples to overcome in order to become legal guardians. Adoption agencies inspect every iota of a couple lives if they are an appropriate choice as potential parents. These are thorough examinations which are not taken lightly. Of course, an issue that prevails with same-sex parents is the possibility that the child will eventually want to know who their biological parents are. One of their parents may be their mother or father by blood, but the child will have to seek out the other. This can be a trying time for families as rebellious and hormonal children may cry out for their ‘real parents’. This is a conversation homosexual parents will need to engage in and be prepared for.
Gay couples often appear as more motivated and committed to having a child than heterosexuals. While this can only be based on each individual couple, it is true that gay partners cannot have a child ‘accidentally’, which often occurs for heterosexuals. Welcoming a child into the world is one of the biggest changes in a person’s life, and queer couples must have a thorough conversation with one another and think this decision through before acting on the desire. Then comes the adoption application, which is strenuous to say the least. Of course, this is difficult for heterosexual couples and takes time for them too. LGBT people who have gone through this system have proven to their state that they are dedicated to becoming parents, and that it is not something that they fell into. Needless to say accidental pregnancies for heterosexual couples are often celebrated, whether the infant was planned or unplanned. This is not an incorrect way to have a baby, but of course it helps to be prepared and know that you are definitely ready for this life step. There is a huge demand for adoptive parents and homosexual couples are applying while straight couples are opting primarily to have biological children in the traditional manner. Adoption for heterosexuals is often due to infertility issues and may not necessarily be their first choice on how to have a baby.
Members of the LGBT community often make the case that those who want to adopt should be judged on their ability to parent and not their sexuality. When governments rule that LGBT adoption is illegal, this can be seen as discrimination. In today’s modern liberal societies where we celebrate differences it may seem questionable that gay people who cannot adopt are legally classed as lesser, due to this same lack of legal rights. Some question whether those of differing sexualities deserve the same rights to bring a child into their family, and if they should be governed in the same way that heterosexual parents are. Denial of this is sometimes classed as homophobia in society. For many people it is a question of religion that leads them to doubt the ethical repercussions of gay adoption. People who are Jewish or Islamic amongst other religions believe this is morally wrong and that the family unit will not flourish in this setting. Religious orphanages refuse to give children to same-sex couples, sometimes in countries where this is legal. The Catholic Church does not support homosexual couples adopting children, as one of their core beliefs is that the family unit consists of man and woman. The importance of family is fundamental to the entire religion. There is a long history of abuse against homosexuals, such as conversion therapy. Devout members of this religion are often friends with members of the LGBT community but simultaneously oppose them, in campaigns against same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples. Although a gay couple may desire a child and can provide a safe home, the church does not think this couple has the necessary traits to parent a child. LGBT groups dispute the Church’s teachings that the natural order of the world is man and woman.
Some critics argue that gay parents will convert their children to also become gay. While this is not supported by any factual evidence, it can be said that it is likely the child will be more open-minded in life, particularly in areas such as their sexuality. Studies have proven that children raised by LGBT parents are more tolerant than their peers who were raised by a mother and father. There is no indications in existence that a child adopted by queer parents were disadvantaged in any way. Gender stereotypes are not enforced or as prevalent in modern families raised by homosexuals. They are sympathetic of people’s differences and less likely to use stereotypes. Equality is important to these kids and they naturally embrace diversity, as they have been raised to think in this way since they were adopted. These differences are interesting to observe, as they are one of the very meagre contrasts seen between kids raised by gay parents as opposed to straight parents.
One thing we can all agree on is that children who have had tough lives and crave a family unit and all that comes with it deserve good parents. Can this be denied of them simply because the applicants are gay? Is it true to assume children are better off with no guardians, than gay parental figures? This issue needs to be addressed by the world and a solution must be found.