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The Immorality of Banning Gay Adoption
by Rev. Irene Monroe
2006-05-01

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There is something mean-spirited and wholly sinful about a church that would rather shut its adoption doors than comply with state laws that ban discrimination.

There is also something politically amiss when a governor like Mitt Romney, who was elected to represent all the people of Massachusetts, forsakes state law and files legislation that promulgates a religious bias disguised as religious freedom.

Selective discrimination always hurts the targeted group, but in terms of banning gays from adopting, the greatest harm is done to the children.

While it is easy for elected officials to politically extol why gay adoptions are wrong and for clerics to religiously pontificate why gay adoptions are antithetical to its church's sacred tenets, it is, however, hard to fathom politicians and clerics power-playing parentless children to exploit an agenda that benefits no one.

In a society that promotes that no child will be left behind, society nonetheless abandons each child who is denied access to loving parents because of a political agenda driving the day.

How do I know this?

I grew up as a ward of New York State. I was shuffled back and forth from foster home to foster home in Brooklyn at a time when it was not only politically incorrect for white couples to adopt black children, but it was also legally prohibited across the country. While the country in 1967 had to accept the landmark decision case of Loving v. Virginia allowing interracial marriage, the county did not accept interracial families.

Child experts of the day argued that black children would have a loss of identity. We would not know what group of people socially and culturally we belonged to. Some argued that Black children growing up in white families would unconsciously appropriate not only 'white ways,' but these Black children would also appropriate white racist attitudes toward other Blacks, like comedian Dave Chappelle portrays in one of his skits as a blind Black man ranting and raving why he hates 'niggers.'

Today the arguments are eerily reminiscent of that time, but toward a different target group. The concerns surrounding LGBTQ adoptions are superfluous, bigoted and wrong-headed, but they nonetheless prevail in the face of hard social and scientific evidence proving otherwise.

Many argue that our adopted children would by bullied and ostracized by their peers, and thus would develop psychological problems. They would show atypical gender development where girls would be less feminine and boys less masculine. And children raised in same-sex households would experience difficulties in emotional well-being and intimate relationships. Therefore, they are more likely than children raised in heterosexual households to adopt a gay or a lesbian sexual orientation.

To bring a halt to what many right-wing ideologues view as a travesty to the sanctity of the American family and what many churches nationwide see as a demise of God's civilization, there is even a debate brewing about whether lesbians should have access to assisted reproduction procedures like donor insemination.

But by not allowing LGBTQ couples to adopt, many don't understand that there will be many parentless children—like I was—ending up in foster care. And the evidence of what happens to us as wards of the state show it is no different than the human trafficking abuses we hear about of women and children in third world countries.

Coming through the foster care system, we are the children left behind. We are bounced from foster home to foster home. Many foster parents take us in because they receive money from the state that should be for our care but oftentimes isn't. Foster children have the highest high school dropout rate, and the highest percentage of poor health, incarceration and unemployment. And when we age out of foster care, we are homeless and parentless again.

Elected officials and clerics who rail against gays adopting have no idea what it is like to grow up as a ward of the state, that you are the child society left behind because you got caught up in their self-serving agendas.

A 2003 Vatican document called gay adoptions 'gravely immoral.' The document does not comprehend the physical, psychological and spiritual well-being of all children, no matter what type of household they are reared in—opposite-sex or same-sex. But the document's most egregious errors are its violations of the three commandants dealing with children's civil rights:

No child should grow up without the love and security that comes from committed parents.

No child should be bereft of the joys of living in a loving and nurturing household where its focus is on its spiritual content and not its physical composition.

And no child should get caught up or be left behind because of politicians' and clerics' promotion of their self-serving agendas.

A violation of any of these commandments is gravely immoral.


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