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Source: (consider it) Thread: Should homosexuals be allowed to adopt children?
Zacchaeus
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I was not saying that gay people do not have much to offer, or that heterosexual people cannot stuff up children. Hell that is why these kids are in care in the first place they have been damaged by their heterosexual families.

But what I have been trying to do is to work out how to deal with it when your ideologies and the realities of your situation in the real world do not match.

My thoughts have only ever been with the best solution for already damaged children, in the here and now of the world today. And however much we do not like it, the reality of the world now, is that there are sometimes compromises to be made for the sake of the children, because people are less than tolerant.

As I said before I do not want use already damaged children as agents of social change, just because I believe that the world should be different to the way it actually is.


but I would have thought that keeping open discussions about things like homosexuality is part of 'dealing with things'

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
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Annie I appreciate what you're saying and I agree that it is always essential to keep the children at the forefront of the discussion. I guess that I am coming from the point of view of the social worker who works with kids who have severe behavioural challenges (yes, I'm a lesbian, but I think I made my views on who should be allowed to parent fairly clear a few posts back, and I do not except queer people from the contraceptive idea [Biased] ).

Working where I do I see lots and lots of foster/adoptive parenting. I think I've worked with only one family where the child was still at home with Mum and/or Dad. I've worked with all kinds of parenting arrangements - solo, heterosexual, queer, mixed race... Almost all the kids I work are bullied (including the ones who are bullies themselves). What I see working to is parents giving clear boundaries, affection and support to deal with the vissicitudes of daily life at home.

It really doesn't seem to matter what the subject of the bullying is, its what happens when the child gets home. And in my experience there are strong or struggling parents in every category (straight, solo, queer, whatever) and children who are better or worse at coping in direct relation.

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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Zacchaeus
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Hi Arabella

I do know what you are saying but I suppose I am coming at it from the point of view of an adoptive parent who had children with severe emotional and behavioural problems, attachment problems, and esteem issues etc etc.

And it is great that support your families, but I have to say that the support we received once the children were legally ours, was less that enthusiastic, to say the least.

We had to find everything ourselves and fight for everything, every inch of the way. Social services attitude was 'we have done our job and got the kids adopted' and we have no more role now that we would in any family. Just go away and live your family life.

There were times when our family seemed only a weekend away from breakdown, and other adoptive placements that we knew did break down, and the children ended up back in care.

So I suppose that my views are coloured by all of that, as I can't imagine what it would be like if extra stresses where thrown into family situation. And how my kids would have coped if there was the extra factor to be bullied for.

That's why I came to the uneasy conclusion that in a large city with a variety of people and every sort of family make up etc the situation may be very different to small town, 50 years behind the times


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Smudgie

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Again, not in a position to elaborate on views about homosexual people adopting children, just wanting to endorse what annie just said.

My pre-adoption support and immediate post adoption support was out of this world - I couldn't have asked for better.
But people move on.

And ask my about the support I get now in raising my kids. If it weren't for the fact that I'm reliant upon them for money, I'd tell them where to stick their label of "post adoption support". I've even been told by the social worker I went to for help that the problem is really because I'm a single parent. Hell, thanks. (No mention of the fact that a lot of hetrosexual couples split up because of the problems caused by adoption, nor that the reason I get no help from my adoption support group is that all their adoptions have broken down completely!)

Yes, some kids had to pioneer being adopted by single people. But they weren't alone - single parent adoption comes hand in hand with more families generally living only with one parent. And it isn't just about bullying - my youngest isn't bullied, in fact is quite popular and has a very supportive network of friends, but the conversation I had with him the other night about his sense of isolation and his estranged self image tore my heart to shreds. And "Why can't you have been married so that we can at least be like a normal family and I can have a dad" is a hard one to answer.

My friend's son went through being a pioneer when she left his father for another woman. He's not got the issues of adoption to cope with, but ask him how he feels about being a pioneer and I think he might tell you. And yes, it's better than being in a series of foster care placements, but try telling a kid who's unhappy that "it may not be perfect but at least it's better than..." It's like saying "Eat your cabbage - there are starving children in Africa". Is it right that his adoptive mum is single. No, it isn't. He would have been better placed in a family with two parents - my eldest son certainly would - but that option just wasn't available. But there again, it would have been better still if he'd been able to stay in the family to which he'd been born and be raised safe and secure. The trouble is, it is only with hindsight that the kids see the half of the glass which is full.. and full of really good stuff!

So what am I saying? I wish I knew! Seriously, I'm saying adoption is tough both on kids and on parents. Throw in another set of stressors - single parenthood, mixed race adoption, homosexual adoption (the latter of these being far less accepted in society - for right or for wrong - than the previous two) - and we really need to make sure that the people involved are tough enough for the job and have enough bloody support!!!!

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chive

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I agree with the importance of placing the children's needs first. However the sad reality is that children in care get bullied. They get bullied because they're in care. I swear I never ever ever want to hear someone singing the chorus of Nobody's child again ever. A child who is being moved between placements in the way they are in foster care is going to have to deal with that bullying without a strong home life to compensate.

If a child is adopted by a gay couple, and Arabella is right when she says they would have to be the most exceptional gay couple in the known universe, they may be bullied for this but at least they'll have the security of adoptive parents and a settled environment to balance this somewhat.

It's just not as simple as avoiding bullying. I guarentee you that every child in care is getting bullied.

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'Edward was the kind of man who thought there was no such thing as a lesbian, just a woman who hadn't done one-to-one Bible study with him.' Catherine Fox, Love to the Lost

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leo
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Indeed - if bullying was a reason for LGBTs not to adopt, it would also be a reason for black people not being allowed to adopt.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

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Like I said before, big love to all foster/adoptive parents.

I work for a tertiary service - kids between the ages of 10-17 get referred to us on the basis of their behavioural issues. It isn't specifically a post-placement service, but it has made me horribly aware of how little post placement support there is for foster/adoptive parents. By the time I get these families, they're at the end of their tether dealing with the kids.

I know this is a slight tack sideways, but my heart goes out to family member fosterers - they get even less support, hardly any funding, and they're ususally having to protect the child from one of their own adult children or siblings (the parent). Social services say, "Oh, good, there's a family member putting their hand up, we can stop worrying". Wrong, wrong, wrong, particularly when they don't give that family member proper information about their rights as a carer, or don't follow up on the legal side of things so the carer is left at the mercy of the birth parents (a particular beef of mine at this very moment).

What I would want to know is if those who would question social services for placing a child with queer fosterers/adopters would support those kids and their new parents in becoming a family if it happened. I'm talking about sticking up for them in the public arena. So say you have the case arise in your small town, a fait accompli, would you give those queer parents your support, even if it was just sticking up for them in a conversation, or talking to them in the street or at a school meeting? Make the effort to get to know them, even?

If you can say yes to that, then I have no argument with you at all.

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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Smudgie

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Arabella, I'm not sure whether you're including me in that question but I hope you know me well enough to know the answer and I hope I've never given you cause to doubt the veracity of my words when I say that I would support any adoptive family 100%, regardless of their creed, colour, sexual orientation or shoe size, and if the odds were stacked against them, as I do believe they could be for a homosexual couple, then I would, as far as I were able, support them 150%.

(And yes, I know I'm a maths teacher and I know the numbers don't make sense, but I could think of no better way to say that I hope I am never found wanting in supporting anyone in the face of prejudice)

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Miss you, Erin.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

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Absolutely Smudgie!

It was a rhetorical question, perhaps not phrased as well as it might have been.

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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Zacchaeus
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Arabella

I have tried to make it clear that my confusion here is about where my ideology about how things should be, and concern as to how things work out in reality, are at odds.

I have never said that gay people do not have anything to offer or do not make good parents, or in fact should never be allowed to adopt. My concern has only ever been, as I said somewhere earlier, about any problems any children placed with homosexual couples might face.

I did say at one point that they would have to be selected very carefully because of the extra problems that can be made for them. Particularly where they would stand out like the proverbial 'sore thumb'.

I have talked a lot about concerns for the children and that the world can be a shit place at times.

And an individual's well being, comes before how I think the world should be, work with what you have got and where you are, not how you think things should be, is my starting point in things..

So support what you have got, yes.

But don't start me on social services and the lack of care with family - foster placements. And how social services don't like it, if families start to demand the same treatment as other foster carers!!

Good for you with your job, but love to those who don't get the support that you give. Life is just not fair for some children.

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Taliesin
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quote:
Leo said:
Indeed - if bullying was a reason for LGBTs not to adopt, it would also be a reason for black people not being allowed to adopt.

Black people adopt black children. Back in the 70s (?) it was possible for white couples to adopt black children, but for all kinds of reasons it was not good, mostly becasue the kids' sense of fit and belonging was all messed up. I can't imagine it was ever acceptable for black parents to adopt white children, for a different set of reasons. (less noble!) My sister and her partner did short term fostering and even short term, there has to be some connection with the ethnicity of the child - they had a chid of mixed race, so mixed race children were able to be placed with them.

God alone knows what point I'm making...

something about belonging and bullying and culture and 'fit'. I guess.

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iGeek

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quote:
Originally posted by davelarge:
This is a copy of a post that was put on my uni bulletin boards, and I thought it would be good to get your opinion on the issue

Sure, why not. We have them the old-fashioned way and seem to do alright.

[ 08. February 2009, 02:15: Message edited by: cqg ]

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Knopwood
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quote:
Originally posted by Harperchild:
Black people adopt black children. Back in the 70s (?) it was possible for white couples to adopt black children, but for all kinds of reasons it was not good, mostly becasue the kids' sense of fit and belonging was all messed up.

Wow. I am really surprised to learn that. I never knew that was the situation in the UK.
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beachpsalms
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Regarding the visibility of queer parents in rural communities: Just because you don't see us, doesn't mean we aren't there. Especially in single parent households; unless your gaydar is very, very good, or you know us very well, and we trust you enough to come out - How on earth would you know that my single parent family includes a lesbian mom?

One of the reasons I'm not terribly out is because I'm raising kids in a small town; but I'm also really aware that being queer is just one part of my/our social location; and at the moment, in our area, probably isn't as important as language, race, culture, employment, immigration status... so many other factors.

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Taliesin
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I was going to say, how the hell would you know? And decided not to on the grounds I'd get laughed at.

Sure, some people are more out than others - my sister and her partner run the only gay bar in Stroud, fly a rainbow flag and gave an interview on local radio within weeks of opening. [Big Grin]
But even before that, my niece had confronted some homophobic remark at school by snarling, 'Shut the f*** up, my Mum's a lesbian.' which is going to get around.

But it seems to me, if people want to appear 'friends who share a house' that's how it's going to look. The average parents of any inclination don't usually hold hands and snog in the school playground when fetching their kids.

[ 10. February 2009, 20:44: Message edited by: Harperchild ]

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Taliesin
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LQ, does that mean, where you are, they don't take the kids' ethnicity into account?
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Gwai
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I can't say what they take into account but I definitely know more than one Caucasian couple who have adopted an African-American child. In fact, I have a cousin who is one such.

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A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Knopwood
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One of my group home confreres in my teen years was a black (well, he later discovered, mixed) boy who had been adopted by a white mother and Chinese-Canadian father.
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Knopwood
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Sorry, missed the edit window: the boat girl at a local Anglo-Catholic shrine parish is the Asian daughter of white parents.
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Zacchaeus
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quote:
boat girl at a local Anglo-Catholic shrine parish is the Asian daughter of white parents.
The situation may be different now, but some years ago now when our family were placed with us, this very situation arose. Our children are a family of 3 siblings, who have one Asian birth grandfather, about whom absolutely nothing was known, not even which nationality he was. (he had been a very short relationship of the birth grandmother) and the rest of the birth family was white.

The children were actually blue eyed blonds, yet their placement with us was held up for nearly 3 months whilst the adoption panel and social workers argued about the situation. Panel thought that these kids were Asian and should be placed with an Asian family and not with us, two white parents.

Even though we actually reflected the ethnic make up of the birth family in which the children were brought up for the start of their lives. PC thought was children must be placed in a family of their ethnic background and 1 vague quarter Asian obviously trumped three quarters white British!!

Sanity eventually prevailed and the decision was made that we could parent them, but it was a close call, and took three times at adoption panel.


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marsupial.
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quote:
Originally posted by LQ:
Sorry, missed the edit window: the boat girl at a local Anglo-Catholic shrine parish is the Asian daughter of white parents.

Which is a fairly common configuration in Canada -- infant adoption of a girl from China by Caucasian parents. (Though I also know of a case where the adoptive mother is also ethnic Chinese, coincidentally, as it were.) I'm told it's virtually impossible to adopt an infant of any ethnic background in Canada -- for reasons that raise a different dead horse.
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Taliesin
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Annie, I'm so glad sense did prevail. I agree its nonsense to overblow the 'ethnic' angle - It is very right and good that the clear and obvious heritage of a child is taken into account, and I think, that focusing on something not visable and barely known is not in the interests of the child at all, but someone else's agenda.

balance again, huh. I hadn't realised that the laws/norms in the UK and the US/Canda are so different, but I should have realised, what with celebraties constantly popping accross the world to adopt some more ethnically diverse children.

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beachpsalms
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In Canada, the very sensitive area is around Native kids being removed from their families and communities and adopted into white families. With the prevalence of that in the 1970's and the horrific legacy of the Residential School system, there's been an incalculable amount of harm done to Native individuals, families and communities. One of the responses has been to restrict adoption out of Native communities.

I was thinking about this thread some more last night; and I am leaning towards thinking that the "risk" of bullying is overblown by opponents of gay & lesbian parenting. (Yes, not just adoption; because when someone says that we shouldn't be allowed to adopt, it immediately bleeds over for me into condemnation of my ability to parent. Even when the opponent in question doesn't intend the spillover.)

My kids, to my knowledge, haven't been picked on or teased for having a lesbian mom. For being blonde? Yep. For having long/short hair? Yep. For being a minister's kid? Sure.

They've had a couple of bad reactions to general homo/lesbophobic language, because they internalize it as an attack on their mom. But, I've never had a problem addressing it with the school, or their teachers.

Seriously. My daughter has had more blonde jokes thrown at her, than lesbian bashing. And I've yet to hear that I'm an unfit parent because of my hair colour.

--------------------
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"I am. 'Course, that ain't exactly Plan A."

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Smudgie

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quote:
Originally posted by beachpsalms:
I am leaning towards thinking that the "risk" of bullying is overblown by opponents of gay & lesbian parenting. (Yes, not just adoption; because when someone says that we shouldn't be allowed to adopt, it immediately bleeds over for me into condemnation of my ability to parent. Even when the opponent in question doesn't intend the spillover.)

Beachpsalms, without going any further into the issue in the OP, may I just reassure you that any debate about whether children should be placed for adoption with a homosexual couple does not actually hold any integral assumption that someone's sexual preferences make them a good or bad parent. There are heterosexual people I wouldn't allow within a metre's length of my children and homosexual people to whom I would gladly entrust the care of my children if I were ill or away for some reason.

The thing is (and please forgive me if I sound patronising, it's not intended... honest!) parenting adopted children, while in many ways is just the same as parenting birth children, in many ways is a totally different kettle of fish. Sometimes people who haven't experience of adopting find that hard to appreciate that, which can make for a lack of support in society - if one more person says "Oh, all children are like that" or "He's a boy, what do you expect?" to me again, I don't promise to hold myself responsible for the consequences! [Biased] I think I do pretty well as a parent, actually, but if you asked me whether I think single parent adoption is a good thing, I'd have my reservations just as I do with homosexual adoption.

It isn't to do with bullying either - I think that's a bit of a straw man. It's more to do with the child's ability to identify with their family and with their peers - an intrinsic thing rather than an extrinsic one.

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Zacchaeus
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Beachpsalms (I love your name I feel peaceful just reading it)

[Cool]

It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the parent, but about the particular issues that children who have been through the care system have.

Born-to children have a resilience and strength that adopted children do not have, because they have known consistent loving. And yes, I do know that that is a vast generalisation, but like many generalisations it has a basis in the truth.

Any child who has always had one/two loving parents of whatever colour/sexual orientation , will be in a better position emotionally to withstand the nastiness of the world, than children who have been dragged around the system.

It is those children and only those that I would include in this.


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Zacchaeus
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cross posted with Smudgie who I am following around posting after.

She has expressed in a much more eloquent way what I was trying to say, I agree 100%
[Overused]

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beachpsalms
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I didn't find that patronizing at all, and appreciate you reminding me that adoptive kids have their own particular needs.

However, I stand by my assertion that gay and lesbian people are not, by their sexual orietation less fit than heterosexual people to meet those needs.

And I'll cite the American Pyschological Association's policy statement on sexual orientation, parenting and children.

quote:
WHEREAS there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children (Patterson, 2000, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Tasker, 1999);

WHEREAS research has shown that the adjustment, development, and psychological well-being of children is unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish (Patterson, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Stacey & Biblarz, 2001);

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the APA opposes any discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care, and reproductive health services;

and the Child Welfare League of America.

quote:
Existing research comparing lesbian and gay parents to heterosexual parents, and children of lesbian and gay parents to children of heterosexual parents, shows that common negative stereotypes are not supported (Patterson, 1995). Likewise, beliefs that lesbian and gay adults are unfit parents have no empirical foundation (American Psychological Association, 1995).

A growing body of scientific evidence demonstrates that children who grow up with one or two parents who are gay or lesbian fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Evidence shows that children's optimal development is influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by its particular structural form (Perrin, 2002).



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"You willing to die for that belief?"
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Smudgie

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quote:
Originally posted by beachpsalms:

However, I stand by my assertion that gay and lesbian people are not, by their sexual orietation less fit than heterosexual people to meet those needs.

I agree with that statement 100%

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Zacchaeus
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As Smudgie said parenting adopted children is different to parenting born to children. And children who are to be adopted are all very different to each other as well.

We have a family of 3, they came from a background of extreme domestic abuse, (partner eventually got a long prison sentence for the abuse). Daughter number one was also groomed for sexual abuse and allowed to watch pornography. And there was general physical neglect as well


Because of the background, daughter had had to fight for every bit of mum's attention and had issues with men. Many of our males friends were terrified of her and some even refused to come to the house!! Now I would accept that she may well, if she were on her own, have been better placed as a only child with a single female parent.

But as a family group their needs were very different, it would have been impossible for a single parent to cope with them on their own. They definitely needed a two parent household. And also one where one partner did not work, extra carers in childcare would have been too confusing for them. (So for example It was not a case to argue that a woman has the right to choose whether to be a working mum or not.)

They had also been, because their birth family, were well known in their home town and as they were also neglected physically. They where in a situation where they always 'stuck out like a sore thumb'. They were used to walking down the street and having the other kids point them out as the odd ones in the class, and to being mocked and teased etc. One of the main needs in my son's life at that time was to be as anonymous as possible and to blend into the background.

So sorry but I will maintain that to have been placed with openly gay parents would have been disastrous for them. And it has nothing to do with the parent potential of people, but of the extra problems that society would have brought down on them, because of their parents.

Unfair and downright wrong? absolutely - but that is sadly the society in which we live at the moment.

Should it change? - well of course it is. But until it does the needs of the child will always come first.

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Zoey

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Yes, but the needs of children up for adoption vary and not all of them have the same needs as your 3 did, annie. I entirely accept what you say. However, for example, on a telly programme about adoption a few years ago (I *think* it was Channel 4's ' Wanted - New Mum and Dad', but am not 100% sure) there was a 9 year-old lad who was in foster care, but who obviously still cared extremely deeply about his birth mother and seemed to have had a very close bond with her. When his social worker was approached by a suitable male gay couple interested in adopting him, she saw this as a really good option for this particular child - he would get a two-parent adoptive family, but there would be much less risk of the child having the conflicted loyalties which could well have occurred if he had been adopted by a heterosexual couple (and had thus been put in a position where he was being expected to accept a new female parent figure when actually he was still keen on his birth mother being considered his mum).

I've been following this thread on and off for the past couple of weeks since folks started posting on it again. I hope Smudgie realises already how very much I respect and admire her. I'm also developig a fair amount of respect for you, annie. Therefore I've been slightly loathe to post the following, but I keep thinking it: Surely most if not all the posters on this thread, and particularly you guys who are adopters, know that (in the UK at least) the question of heterosexual couples adopting versus gay couples adopting is ridiculously hypothetical.

You've all accepted that stable, supportive gay adopters are a better option than kids remaining 'looked after' by the state. If there were happy, stable, well-resourced heterosexual couples queuing up to adopt traumatised children, disabled children, older children, children with significant health problems a/o attachment difficulties a/o ebd, etc etc, then gay couples would rarely if ever get a look-in. Put it to the family finders and social workers of children up for adoption - two-parent family with a male role model and a female role model right there in the home and the family make-up is entirely typical and un-extraordinary, *versus* two mums or two dads i.e. the family make-up stands out and one needs to look outside the immediate household for male/female role models - only in unusual circumstances, if then, are the social workers going to take the gay couple rather than the straight one to matching panel. (Not saying this is how I think it should be, but saying this is how I think it probably is.) But the reality is that there are more children waiting for adoption than there are prospective adopters out there ...

[... insert here mst's standard rant about how people are obsessed with having perfect babies and don't want to take on adopted children likely to have additional needs to those of typical birth children - the rant got so rant-ish that it became incoherent, hence its replacement with this explanatory paragraph]

...

Hmm, after rant-ness, this post fizzles out, but, yeah, ... my point is that even if your hierarchy of options for children up for adoption is - hetero couple, single adopter, gay couple, staying 'looked after' - gay couples should still be adopting, because there aren't enough hetero couples and single adopters for all the children waiting for adoption, so excluding gay adopters is just going to push kids further down the hierarchy of options into remaining without a permanent family of their own.

Ho hum.


[More kudos to Smudgie - I also entirely agree that vastly more post-adoption support is needed. If I were running the country, I would make an utter hash of it (so you can all be thankful that I'm not), but I would poor oodles of money into (1) more therapeutic services for adoptive families, foster families + looked after children, (2) more mental-health specialists in issues like early trauma and attachment difficulties and (3) good quality respite and residential placements for looked-after and adopted children who need them.]

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beachpsalms
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I don't want to argue with your experience, Annie, but I have the following reflections:

You say that from your experience with your eldest that a mother-only household might have been healthy for her; and that she needs two parents - But that's exactly what a lesbian household provides.

Or that some special needs kids need one working and one stay at home parent - again; lesbian and gay parents sometimes choose this configuration, just as straight couples do. Dan Savage and his partner, for instance.

And that some kids need a chance to blend in - well then, maybe they're not suited to be parented by a same sex couple. Or a prominent doctor in a small town. But surely, that's what we have screening to determine?

When we're talking about adoption rights, from my perspective we're talking about the following:

a) Removing rights I already have in Ontario.
b) Restricting the ability for the non-biological parent to adopt (have legal ties) to the child of their parent. This is very common for same sex partners, especially lesbians who use insemination. When I had my daughter, it was still the case in Ontario that the biological mother had to surrender her legal ties to the baby in order for her partner to adopt.

I'm not arguing that there is a same-sex couple available and appropriate for every child. I'm only saying that restricting an entire group's rights because you don't think they'd be good matches in some very particular special needs situations is wrong.

Let each case be decided on it's own - but don't close the door on all the families for whom adoption protects their existing family configuration, or can build a family for a child for whom it is a good fit.

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Zacchaeus
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Hi Beachpsalms and snowtiger
several points - I did say
quote:
And children who are to be adopted are all very different to each other as well.

quote:
Now I would accept that she may well, if she were on her own, have been better placed as a only child with a single female parent.

But as a family group their needs were very different,

I was referring to the different needs that occur in different situations, daughter number one's needs as an individual were possibly different to that of the three of them as a family group. But those needs were actually mutually exclusive

Also I have never talked of restricting an entire groups rights

quote:
I have never said that gay people do not have anything to offer or do not make good parents, or in fact should never be allowed to adopt. My concern has only ever been, as I said somewhere earlier, about any problems any children placed with homosexual couples might face.

I did say at one point that they would have to be selected very carefully because of the extra problems that can be made for them. Particularly where they would stand out like the proverbial 'sore thumb'.

quote:
That's why I came to the uneasy conclusion that in a large city with a variety of people and every sort of family make up etc the situation may be very different to small town, 50 years behind the times
quote:
I can even see that some children who have been damaged by bad parenting from a female, may then thrive with consistant male parenting.
quote:
As previous have suggested there are all sorts of factors in this, children's age, previous life experiences, the sort of placement that they are currently in. Which all makes each situation a very individual one.

Beachpsalms said
quote:
Or that some special needs kids need one working and one stay at home parent - again; lesbian and gay parents sometimes choose this configuration, just as straight couples do. Dan Savage and his partner, for instance.
The point that I was trying to make, if not very well, with this is that there are times in adoption that we cannot argue our own 'rights' whether it is to be a career person or to anything, it is always about the best needs of the children.


Beachpsalms said
quote:
Restricting the ability for the non-biological parent to adopt (have legal ties) to the child of their parent. This is very common for same sex partners, especially lesbians who use insemination. When I had my daughter, it was still the case in Ontario that the biological mother had to surrender her legal ties to the baby in order for her partner to adopt.
I also said that it was not a general comment on parenting by gay people, purely about the specifics of damaged children being placed for adoption nor have I ever said that all children should be placed with a two parent heterosexual family.

quote:
It has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the parent, but about the particular issues that children who have been through the care system have.

Born-to children have a resilience and strength that adopted children do not have, because they have known consistent loving. And yes, I do know that that is a vast generalisation, but like many generalisations it has a basis in the truth.

Any child who has always had one/two loving parents of whatever colour/sexual orientation , will be in a better position emotionally to withstand the nastiness of the world, than children who have been dragged around the system.

I started posting in this thread because as I read it all from the start, there seemed to be people who thought that adopting and having birth children was the same thing, and it was about gay rights.

And then other people seemed to think that it was just wrong. I was trying sort out (partly in my own mind to begin with I admit) that it is much more complex than that. And there are all sorts of issues to think of besides the rights of parents or those who think that it is wrong per say.

beachpsalms posted
quote:
Let each case be decided on it's own - but don't close the door on all the families for whom adoption protects their existing family configuration, or can build a family for a child for whom it is a good fit.
I think if you read through everything that I have said you will see that we might actually coming from a similar position.

ie Adopting other peoples damaged children is difficult and not a right, for anybody, and that we have to take care that the right children are placed in the right situation. taking into account a lot of different factors.


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beachpsalms
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quote:
Adopting other peoples damaged children is difficult and not a right, for anybody, and that we have to take care that the right children are placed in the right situation. taking into account a lot of different factors.
You're right, annieparker, I unreservedly agree with this statement. [Smile]

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Zacchaeus
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beachpsalms, I wish I was quick at posting as you!

I just want to make sure that I have said outright here. That the rights of gay people to birth children and legal rights over their partners children are, as far as I am concerned, exactly the same as those of heterosexual people. And that those children are in no worse or better poition than any other child

[Axe murder]

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St. Gwladys
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You may be interested to know that I have recommended this thread to my tutor on my OU course - working with children and families - as we have to look at the structure of families, also anti discriminatory and antioppressive practise, and there have been many intersting comments. Mention of this thread even caused a debate in the Christian Fellowship in work!

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Zacchaeus
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I just want to make sure that I have said outright here. That the rights of gay people to birth children and legal rights over their partners children are, as far as I am concerned, exactly the same as those of heterosexual people. And that those children are in no worse or better poition than any other child


I don't think I expressed properly here in my previous post what I was trying to say. (That's what happens when you post in a hurry whilst trying to feed families).

What was in my mind in that inelegant sentence was things like infertility, that infertile lesbian women have the same right to medical treatment etc as infertile heterosexual women.

Now it is late and I am going to bed before say anything else that doesn't come out like it sounded inside my head.


[Snore]

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iGeek

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quote:
Originally posted by annie parker:
...but of the extra problems that society would have brought down on them, because of their parents.

I find this presumption doesn't accord with my experience.

My partner's kids (effectively my step-kids) attend high-school and middle school in a conservative, suburban community in a conservative city in one of the reddest of red-states in the Union. Their friends think it's rather kewl they have two dads.

Why is this presumption taken at face value?

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Zacchaeus
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quote:
quote:Originally posted by annie parker:
...but of the extra problems that society would have brought down on them, because of their parents.

I find this presumption doesn't accord with my experience.

My partner's kids (effectively my step-kids) attend high-school and middle school in a conservative, suburban community in a conservative city in one of the reddest of red-states in the Union. Their friends think it's rather kewl they have two dads.

Why is this presumption taken at face value?

cqg.

It is really good that your partner's, kids, friends think it is kewl to have two dads. And I am really glad that you can live openly and in a good way with your family. But in the small town where I find myself living at the moment, I have a friend whose gay adult son won't be open with the world about his sexual orientation.


My 'presumption' comes from the experience of gay people I Know, who have children. (And admittedly it is a small sample and they are lesbians who have born to children, not adopted). Backed up by another thread on the ship about the bullying of openly gay children at school.


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iGeek

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But we're not discussing gay children here. At least not specifically.

We're talking about children whose parents happen to be gay and the potential flack that the kids take because of that.

Just not seeing it, even in a very conservative part of the country. Not amongst my step-kids and not amongst the kids of a dozen or so families I'm personally acquainted with who attend schools in a variety of conservative suburbs in this city.

So I question why such a premise has to be assumed when considering what's good for the kids.

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Zacchaeus
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cqg
A couple of points, firstly I quoted the other thread about bullying of gay children to emphasise the deplorable homophobia of many young people in Britain today.

I have also, throughout my posts, said words to the effect that every case is different and that no one size solution fits all.

quote:
Adopting other peoples damaged children is difficult and not a right, for anybody, and that we have to take care that the right children are placed in the right situation. taking into account a lot of different factors.

I have also said that my thoughts are influenced by the real life experiences of people that I know.

You and you partner and children. and people around you have not experienced problems and that is great, and maybe homosexual adoption is not an issue in your part of the world and I wish that the whole world were like that.

But other people I know do have problems, so I could turn that question around. And ask you why do you make the presumption, that it is not a problem for people elsewhere, Which needs to be taken into account when dealing with very vulnerable children?

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Taliesin
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I think age needs taking into account, when talking.
When you first spoke, Annie, I heard you as a youngish mum, for some reason. Later you mentioned grandchildren and I realised you were a whole other generation.

I think people from earlier generations not only have a different perspective on the world/culture, but also decades of experience that has informed their thinking.

Is this thought in any way offensive? It'll be interesting to know, because I often struggle when speaking about anything I'm not, as I know it can be annoying. Presumptious.

On the homophobia thread, I argued with Leo because I think children suffer bullying for all kinds of reasons, and homosexuality is a red herring. And/but homosexuality is the last taboo in lots of ways, and section 28 prevented it from being visible, especially in schools, for a long time after it may have emerged more naturally. You, Annie, were probably parenting when section 28 and the fallout from it, were reverberating most strongly.

Children still aren't seeing homosexual family settings a great deal, which is why for every one that is visible, a whole bunch of people are gaining comfort and a sense of normality.
Until questions like the OP really are a 'dead horse' and, for example, a mainstream film in which two same sex parents battle some crisis that IS NOTHING TO DO with the fact that they are the same sex, people are going to struggle somewhat.
If someone comments on the fact that someone is mixed race, or in a 'mixed marriage' they are immeadiately identified as a bit of a fascist/BNP/racist/not a right thinking person, aren't they? They don't even have to be rude, just commenting in a gossipy, isn't it interesting kind of way. But 25 years ago that would have been normal conversation for all but the most 'liberal' of thinkers.

So I guess we move on, and people change their frame of thinking over time. But only if people push it and are willing to live, talk, think, act on the edges of their comfort zone.

I'm just thinking out loud. I was brought up in a conservative (big and small c) family and have had to retrain my thinking in a lot of different ways. Please tell me if, in stating the obvious, I sound... unhelpful?

from either side of the debate.

[ 19. February 2009, 10:06: Message edited by: Harperchild ]

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Zacchaeus
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Harperchild

I think you are quite right to say in some ways homosexuality is a red herring, the issue for me is the child, specifically in this case the adopted child.

As I said somewhere above, I started posting because people seemed to be polarised along lines that had to do with their views about homosexual adults, when for me the issue is adoption.

It is not for me about the 'rights' of homosexuals to adopt or about as some people seemed to say that homosexuals just shouldn't parent. It is about the huge grey area in between and is always about the best placement for the child.

And anything that may leave a child open to extra problems has to be taken into account. What those factors are may vary from community to community, family to family and child to child

I will say again that each case need to be decided individually and what works in some places won't in other

I have also said that parenting adopted children can be very different to 'born too' and step children. And adopted children can have all sorts of issues that other children don't. Which is why I have only every been thinking about that very small section of children who have been through such hell in their birth family that they have to be found another.

None of this is or ever has been about other family make ups

As for you reflections about age, I am 51 and went to university in the 70's in a time of Tom Robinson and 'glad ot be gay' it was a time when we thought that the issues of gay rights was
won.

I am very saddened to see that the world seems to have gone backwards. And so the more families that work like cqg's then the better, and the more we see different families in the film/tv industry great, they may then become seen as normal by the generel population.

But until the world is the fair and just place that we would like it to be, I will still say that the needs of the individual child to be placed, trump those of society or adults. And anything that is going to be out of the ordinary in their new life has to be very carefully weighed up.


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Welease Woderwick

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Of course the welfare of the child is of first and paramount importance - those words are enshrined in British adoption law and have been for a long time.

There are many kids who have been so damaged by their birth family that they need something different. They, of course, need love and acceptance but they may need other things as well - a gay role model, perhaps; research, which I can't refer you to as I am long retired and have forgotten the references, suggests that a higher proportion of kids in care or looked after in UK may be LGBT in their orientation. Or kids [boys or girls] who have been so abused by men either within or outside their family that they no longer feel safe with men and would benefit from adoption by a lesbian couple.

These kids existed throughout my over a quarter of a century in social work and I have no doubt at all that similar kids are trapped in the system today.

Blanket bans are unhelpful to children or the professionals they serve. Blanket bans deny children the right to have their welfare being of first and paramount importance.

Let's get real, people, and think about ways to enable better care for kids who need it!

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Taliesin
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quote:
went to university in the 70's in a time of Tom Robinson and 'glad to be gay' it was a time when we thought that the issues of gay rights was won.

Now that's interesting. Cos in the 70s, women's rights were won, in the sense that, after a fight that sparked off in 1792 with Mary Wollstonecraft, struck a serious blow with the married women's propety act in 1882 and really got rolling after the first world war, it was finally acknowledged that women were 'allowed' to have whatever career they felt called to, were not 90% responsible for childcare and house regardless of how many hours they worked outside the home and were entitled to equal pay for equal work (and freedom from sexual harrassment at work and on the streets) etc.
But how long did it take, for all that to become a reality? It took, in every home and every partnership, women who were willing to keep fighting the status quo, and not give in for an 'easier' life.

Stuff takes time. Proximity and experience speeds up the time scale.

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Zacchaeus
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wiff waff posted
quote:
Blanket bans are unhelpful to children or the professionals they serve. Blanket bans deny children the right to have their welfare being of first and paramount importance.
wiff waff, nobody said anything about blanket bans, but we have talked of taking lots of factors into account when placing the children and of every child being different.
quote:
I have never said that gay people do not have anything to offer or do not make good parents, or in fact should never be allowed to adopt. My concern has only ever been, as I said somewhere earlier, about any problems any children placed with homosexual couples might face.
What I have been arguing that a blanket 'it is ok' is not good for everybody.

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beachpsalms
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I think one of the problems I'm having with this discussion is the context. We're not on a "Variant needs of adoptive children" thread, but a "Should we (lesbian/gay folk) be allowed to adopt" thread. Which is why we've been talking about the rights of adoptive parents.

Perhaps no one is arguing this week, on this thread for a blanket ban; but that is, nonetheless, the context of the discussion. And not just because we're in Dead Horses, but because adoptive rights are recently won (in my jurisdiction) and/or still being fought for in many places.

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Zacchaeus
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Beachpslams: I can see what you are saying, it is just for me they are linked, to give somebody the right to do something, then affects other people, who have rights too and I wanted those rights in context.

And I do want gay people to be able to adopt I have never said otherwise. I just started posting because adoption is a complicated issue and I wanted to add a word about other things that come with one persons rights to adopt, such as the rights of the adoptees.

And the earlier posts, which I read, seemed simplistic about a blanket ban or a blanket yes, and it concerned me.

As has been said several times already (I think) in this thread NOBODY has the right to adopt, all sorts of factors come into play. Though yes all people should be eligible to apply adopt

And it is wrong if a whole group of people are barred from adopting just because of their race/colour/religion/sexual orientation.


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Welease Woderwick

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quote:
Originally posted by annie parker:
...As has been said several times already (I think) in this thread NOBODY has the right to adopt, all sorts of factors come into play. Though yes all people should be eligible to apply adopt

And it is wrong if a whole group of people are barred from adopting just because of their race/colour/religion/sexual orientation.

QED.

The situation is that now, at least in the UK and at least in theory, nobody can be barred from applying to become adoptive parents just because of their race/colour/religion/sexual orientation/disability/etc.

Of course prospective adopters and fosterers are then sorted fairly thoroughly before approval - my brother was approved as a foster carer a few years ago and it was an exhaustive process that took a long time - as is right and proper. Many are discarded along the way but, as is right and proper, they may not be discarded solely on the grounds of their race/colour/religion/sexual orientation/disability/etc.

Once a person or couple is approved then there is, or should be, a matching process before placement.

Let's let the professionals get on with their job. They are generally pretty skilled at what they do and by and large they do a good job. Instead of arguing the toss here let's pray that they have the skills, the time and the support to do their job even better.

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Posts: 48139 | From: 1st on the right, straight on 'til morning | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
Crœsos
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# 238

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quote:
Originally posted by Wiff Waff:
The situation is that now, at least in the UK and at least in theory, nobody can be barred from applying to become adoptive parents just because of their race/colour/religion/sexual orientation/disability/etc.

In the U.S. adoption law is determined at the state level so there is the usual patchwork quilt of standards. Some jurisdictions (I'm looking at you, Arkansas and Florida) automatically disqualify homosexuals or unmarried couple in general from adopting.

And speaking of Florida:

quote:
For three years, neighbors in a quaint, middle-class community scarcely saw the lanky 16-year-old boy who lived with his adoptive mother and her boyfriend.

Now, they know why: According to authorities, the teen was brutally abused and held captive in his own home. Most recently, he'd been confined to a bathroom, locked from the outside and sealed with a piece of plywood over the window.

By the time he escaped last week, the Florida boy had a broken forearm and scars, scabs and oozing wounds that investigators say mark years of abuse.

<snip>

Last week, the abuse reached a new height, police said. According to an arrest affidavit, Gigliotti and Angelo discovered the boy had found a way to pry open a barricaded window and free himself with a piece of his clarinet.

The teen was forced to strip, and Gigliotti beat him with a piece of wood about three feet long, police said.

The authorities' account continues as follows: When the teen couldn't stand the pain, he grabbed the wood and held it. Gigliotti beckoned her boyfriend, who came in and took the wood away. She then beat him with the metal and plastic ends of a water hose.

After that, his hands were bound with packing tape. He was left nude and with cuts all around his body. The bathroom's electricity was cut, leaving him in darkness.

<snip>

Authorities took him to a hospital, where the full extent of his injuries were uncovered: His arm had been broken for at least three days and he had bumps, scratches, and oozing wounds. Repeated beatings had left scabs and scars.

Another triumph for heterosexual adoption!

[ 20. February 2009, 14:30: Message edited by: Crœsos ]

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

Posts: 10706 | From: Sardis, Lydia | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Taliesin
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Annie, I hear what you're saying. The needs of the children are more important than the rights of adoptive parents. Always.
But in this thread title is a tacit 'ever', and the answer to to that, is, you're agreeing yes. Should homosexuals ever be allowed to adopt children? Yes.
Then as Wiff Waff says, the process is vigorous, and kids are matched to adults as best as possibly allowed. No one should stick a vulnerable child into a difficult situation into a volitile area. Unless it's the best possible option at that moment for that child.
But I hear that you're saying it's about the needs of the children. And I hear that it worries you, that in a world in which councils need to be seen to respect the rights of minorities, cultural heritage and so forth, a more sane need might be ignored. But it is always from the child's (alleged, maybe) point of view, so that's never going to affect homosexual couples, unless someone comes up with a convincing argument for a 'gay gene'. What I mean is, they don't match black/asian kids with Asian/black parents because it is a non-european's right to have a non-European child, but because it's the child's right to grow up in an environment where they are reflected, echoed, fit, to some degree.

Posts: 2138 | From: South, UK | Registered: Aug 2008  |  IP: Logged



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