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Monday, December 1, 2008

Gay Adoption Bans

Here is the ideal adoption scenario:

- an infant child
- is adopted by a family of the same race
- consisting of a loving mother and father
- who are not too young
- who are not too old
- and who are very well off

I don't think anyone would disagree with that scenario. I certainly do not. However, as is the case with most ideal scenarios, the reality of the situation is far different than that:

- there are many children needing to be adopted who are not infants
- loving potential parents don't see the race of a child...they just see a child
- not every family consists of a mother and father
- sometimes potential parents wanting to adopt are young or are older
- love and caring isn't measured in dollar signs

So we have some states, including Florida, who have passed a Gay Adoption Ban. Is a gay family the ideal family to adopt a child? Of course not, but then again a "non-very well off" family isn't either, so should there also be a ban against people against adoption by people with household incomes of less than $250,000/year? Should we ban a black family from adopting a white child? That's not an ideal family situation for an adoption. Sorry Lionel Richie.

Look, I think everyone wants every child to be adopted under ideal situations. But life is full of less-than-idea circumstances. Besides, what really matters here? Think about it: what really matters is that a child, who doesn't have a family to call their own, be given that opportunity. Furthermore, the capacity to be a loving parent isn't just something that comes in an ideal package, it's something that comes from deep inside a person, from a place that is independent of their race, age, marital status, gender and sexuality.

The bottom line for me is this: singling out homosexual couples and banning them from adoption is, in my opinion, short-sighted at best, and at worst I think it out and out bigoted. Part of me believes that it's a carry-over from the days of institutionalized bigotry; part of me thinks that it's simply a case of ignorance. To the latter, let me set the record straight: homosexuality is not contagious...even if you believe that it is sinful and wrong, the fact of the matter is that you can not "get it" from having a homosexual parent. I know that discussions and notions of sexuality make some uncomfortable, but that discomfort shouldn't prevent a that desperately needs a loving family...from being given the opportunity to be loved.

Let's temper our desire for the "ideal" with a dose of reality and compassion for the many, many children that simply need a loving parent.

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