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Allowing Same-Sex Adoption

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Love Knows No Bias—Allowing Same-Sex Adoption
Nicole Lopez
Love Knows No Bias—Allowing Same-Sex Adoption
Nicole Lopez

Table of Contents

Pageseo

All Children Deserve A Home...............................3

Social vs. Legal....................................................4

What’s The Problem
With Same-Sex Adoption?.....................................5 Marriage..........................................................5 Identity...........................................................6 Slippery Slope..................................................6 Shrinking The “Pool”.........................................7pe

Changing Social Norms........................................8 Authorize Adoption For All Single, Married Adults.....................................8 Permit Second-Parent Adoption.............................9 Enact Same-Sex Couple Adoption...........................9 pe Amendment Defining Marriage...............................9

Taking Steps Forward.........................................10

What People Think..............................................11

Works Cited.........................................................20

All Children Deserve A Home
All Children Deserve A Home
Absssss

("ALGBTICAL")
("ALGBTICAL")
(Aubusson)
Consider this… (Aubusson)
Consider this…

(“ALGBTICAL”)
(“ALGBTICAL”)

* 14,100 foster children are living with gay or lesbian parents ("Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says.")

* Over 2 million gay and lesbian people are interested in adopting ("Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says.")

* Over 125 adoption agencies aid gay and lesbian couples in the adoption process (Michelson)

* 32,571 adopted children were living with same-sex couples in 2009 (Michelson)

* A ban on gay and lesbian adoption would cost the government between $87 and $130 million in order to take care of the children that can longer be placed in those homes ("Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says.") * 14,100 foster children are living with gay or lesbian parents ("Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says.")

* Over 2 million gay and lesbian people are interested in adopting ("Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says.")

* Over 125 adoption agencies aid gay and lesbian couples in the adoption process (Michelson)

* 32,571 adopted children were living with same-sex couples in 2009 (Michelson)

* A ban on gay and lesbian adoption would cost the government between $87 and $130 million in order to take care of the children that can longer be placed in those homes ("Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says.")

("Study: Same-Sex Couples Can Thrive as Adoptive Parents”)

("Study: Same-Sex Couples Can Thrive as Adoptive Parents”)

Social vs. Legal

Legally, thousands of children are already living with same-sex couples or gay/lesbian individuals. Some states have slowly implemented laws that allow both gay and lesbian unmarried singles as well as same-sex couples to be foster and/or adoptive parents. There are also several states that have already made same-sex marriage legal.

However…socially, despite whatever laws have been implemented, a large part of society still rejects both same-sex adoption and marriage. This social rejection prevents same-sex couples and individuals from living their lives as others do, by getting married and having a family. The largest oppositional argument is the “slippery slope” effect.

Slippery slope
The “slippery slope” effect is the belief that allowing one form of action will inevitably lead to another form, such as in the case of legalization of same-sex adoption. Those who are against adoption by same-sex couples believe that its legalization will eventually lead to the legalization of same-sex marriage. It is for this reason that many do not want to allow same-sex adoption.

Until the legal action can overcome the social dismissal, same-sex couples will never completely gain the right to joint adoption. Though this directly affects the couples themselves, it also impacts this country. Having to worry about un-adopted children forces the government to place them in foster homes, causing it to spend millions of dollars more than it would if same-sex couples adopted these children. Also, these children are being traumatized by the lack of consistency in their lives. Being placed in different foster homes and the lack of structure negatively affects their future with increased chances of unemployment and drug abuse, among other things, which affects our country as a whole in terms of productivity and society’s well-being (“Facts and Statistics”).

What’s The Problem With Same-Sex Adoption?
If a person were to try and count on his or her fingers how many children end up in foster care each year, it would take the use of several hundred hands. In the year 2011, this number was 400,540 in the United States and over 153 million worldwide ("Facts and Statistics"). Though there are numerous children waiting to be adopted, over 27,000 will never find homes and will instead “outgrow” the foster care system ("Facts and Statistics”). There aren’t as many people willing to adopt children as there are children to adopt. A simple solution to this would be to find more families willing to adopt; families, of course, that pass all required pre-adoption screenings (“About The Children”). If these families were deemed eligible to be adoptive parents because they could support the child—emotionally, financially, and intellectually—their eligibility should not change because of the parents’ sexual orientation. A same-sex couple should not only be allowed to adopt the child, but both gay/lesbian individuals should be allowed to joint adopt.

Marriage
Slowly but surely, states are permitting marriage of same-sex couples; currently nine states allow same-sex marriage (Savage). The new battle being fought is whether or not these same-sex couples have the right to adopt and raise children. Compelling arguments have been made both in favor and against adoption by same-sex couples, but at the end of the day the most important question is what is in the best interest of the children. Many will argue that children need both a father and mother to establish stability in the home, which is why gay and lesbian couples should not be able to adopt. In fact, this is why same-sex couples cannot adopt in many states (Bernheim). What people forget when stating this claim is that there are already examples of adoptive households missing either a father or mother figure ("Lesbian and Gay Adoption Rights"). In 2004, studies showed that 33% of adoptions made in the U.S. were by single, unmarried adults ("Adoption"). Many of the single, unmarried individuals adopting could, then, be gay or lesbian. In fact, though many states do not allow same-sex marriage, 41 of those states do allow single, unmarried homosexuals to adopt.
Think About It…

A 2012 study in The Atlantic compared children adopted by gay men, lesbian women, and heterosexual couples. Each child had biological or environmental risk factors working against them, including premature birth, abuse, and prenatal substance exposure.

* The children in all three households “benefited from adoption” (Abrams).

* All children showed a 10-point increase in their IQ scores.

* Each child “maintained stable levels of behavior problems” after adoption (Abrams).

* The children adopted by gay men and lesbian women were said to have “started out with more risk factors” (Abrams), but after two years of observation, they were at the same level as their peers who were adopted by heterosexual couples.
Think About It…

A 2012 study in The Atlantic compared children adopted by gay men, lesbian women, and heterosexual couples. Each child had biological or environmental risk factors working against them, including premature birth, abuse, and prenatal substance exposure.

* The children in all three households “benefited from adoption” (Abrams).

* All children showed a 10-point increase in their IQ scores.

* Each child “maintained stable levels of behavior problems” after adoption (Abrams).

* The children adopted by gay men and lesbian women were said to have “started out with more risk factors” (Abrams), but after two years of observation, they were at the same level as their peers who were adopted by heterosexual couples.
The allowance of adoption by single, unmarried homosexual individuals is a common occurrence and cannot be changed at this point. Instead, the focus should be placed on how this could benefit the children adopted. A large fear of those opposed to same-sex marriage and adoption is that children exposed to homosexuals are likely to become homosexual themselves. This idea has been tested and there is no conclusive evidence found that proves this theory true (Murphy). The environment of a child does not and will not affect their sexual orientation.

Identity
A second theory is without both a father and mother the child will not correctly develop a sense of their identity, sexual or otherwise, because of the lack of the “proper” heterosexual connection/examples (Bernheim). If this is the case, then how have single parents been raising children over the years? Many of these children are raised with only one connection because there is only one parent present and have still grown to be very successful. Look at, for example, Barack Obama. He was raised by a single mother and is now not only married with children but also our 44th and first African American president. Then there is the example of popular show host, Ellen DeGeneres. Two heterosexual parents—both a father and mother—raised her and yet she has been openly gay with her partner Portia de Rossi for years. As stated before, one cannot “make” a child gay; they either are or aren’t, no matter what kind of household they are raised in.

Slippery Slope
The “slippery slope” argument believes that allowing joint adoption now can lead to the allowance of same-sex marriage later. Many states do not allow joint adoption for any two individuals unless they are married, no matter what their sexual orientation. This precondition increases the possibility of same-sex marriage if gay/lesbian couples are to be allowed to joint adopt. This—the allowance of same-sex marriage—could lead to giving “polygamous, incestuous…and other nontraditional relationships the right to marry” ("Gay Marriage"). Though this view is extreme, it is commonly referenced when the “slippery slope” is mentioned. The “slippery slope” principle allows for extreme ideas to surface, ideas that are nothing more than fallacies because there is neither proof nor examples to support these radical claims. Nevertheless, allowing same-sex couples to marry so they are allowed joint adoption has greater benefits than detriments. For example, studies show that same-sex couples and singles who apply for adoption are generally “older, better educated, and have more economic resources than their heterosexual counterparts,” which allows for a more advantageous environment to raise a child ("World Trends & Forecasts"). Same-sex couples also show “greater commitment on average and more involvement” because gay and lesbian couples rarely become parents on accident, compared to the “50 percent accidental pregnancy rate among heterosexuals” (Pappas). Since these same-sex couples chose to become parents they “tend to be more motivated” (Pappas). In addition, children raised by same-sex couples are more accepting of others and show “better problem-solving skills” (Sheklow) than children raised by heterosexual couples. The offspring of married couples tend to be “healthier, better adjusted and more secure than offspring of non-marrieds” (Sheklow) and for this reason same-sex marriage should be allowed—for the allowance of joint adoption and benefit of the children.

Shrinking the “Pool”
Not allowing same-sex couples the opportunity of joint adoption affects the thousands of foster children more than it affects these adults. Since same-sex couples cannot adopt, in order for a gay or lesbian individual to adopt, he or she must apply to the process as single and unmarried. This puts them in lower standing than any and all heterosexual couples, not because these couples are heterosexual but because they are married. Married couples often get priority in adoption cases because marriage allows for more stability, which is desired in a home. This prevents qualified same-sex couples and gay/lesbian individuals from being foster or adoptive parents, which drastically shrinks the “pool of qualified adoptive parents” ("Adoption").
In shrinking this “pool,” more children remain in the foster care system because there are not enough homes to place them in. Children who stay in the system have lower IQ scores by as much as 20 points because of their lack of a permanent home. Also, the children who eventually “age out” (outgrow the system and never get placed in a home) of foster care have increased chances of homelessness, drug abuse, pregnancy, and unemployment because of their lack of emotional and financial support ("Facts and Statistics”).

Changing Social Norms
With the number of children in foster care on the rise, it is easy to say that a simple solution to this problem is to find more families willing to adopt, but many of the families that are willing and able to do so are denied the privilege. Society has deemed these couples unfit to adopt because they are of the same sex. Same-sex couples have yet to be fully granted the right to adoption or the right to marriage. Though there has been some progress and certain laws have been passed in their favor, there are still many more laws against same-sex adoption and marriage that prevent society from completely embracing it. Also, these practices have not completely been socially accepted yet, so many believe same-sex adoption and marriage go against traditional social norms. Allowing these couples to adopt would not only be progressive for the country and its gay/lesbian population in terms of social equality, but it would, more importantly, provide more homes for the un-adopted children remaining in foster care.

Authorize Adoption for All Single, Unmarried Adults * States such as Arkansas have begun prohibiting single, unmarried heterosexual individuals from being allowed to adopt in order to prevent single, unmarried homosexual individuals form adopting (Mulherin).

* Many people feel couples should be married before adopting, but they don’t want same-sex couples to get married, which prevents them from adopting.

* Legalizing adoption for all single, unmarried individuals helps decrease the number of children in the foster care system without legalizing same-sex marriage.

Permit Second-Parent Adoption * Legalize second-parent (stepparent) adoption, so if a second gay or lesbian individual wants custody of the child they can do so as a “stepparent” without the need of marriage (Lucente).

* This allows both participants of a same-sex relationship the joy of adoption without the need to legalize same-sex marriage, in addition to privileging the child with two parents.

* Having two adults who are in a relationship within the home creates a more committed home-life for the child, which grants better financial security and emotional stability for that child.

Enact Same-Sex Couple Adoption * The easiest solution to decrease the number of children in foster care and grant gay and lesbian couples the right to children is to legalize same-sex couple joint adoption.

* Having two adults in a child’s home upon adoption allows for a more stable atmosphere, no matter parental sexual orientation.

Amendment Defining Marriage * Add an amendment to the Constitution, inclusive of same-sex couples, clarifying the definition of marriage (Messerli).

* Though people claim same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, nowhere in the Constitution does it define marriage solely as the union between a man and a woman.

* Clearly defining marriage in the Constitution would remove one more loophole for the allowance of same-sex marriage.

* Same-sex couples that are married will have an easier time adopting because marriage provides a stronger foundation within the home, something adoption agencies seek.

* Marriage allows for better health care, tax, housing, and death benefits for both individuals, allowing any children they adopt a better and more secure lifestyle (“Marriage Rights and Benefits”).

Taking Steps Forward
The arguments presented for and against same-sex joint adoption are both made by adults who are concerned about this country’s future. Concern for a future that may or may not have same-sex marriage legalized; a future where people are not discriminated against because of their sexual orientation; but most importantly, a future where children, all children, can have loving and stable homes. Same-sex marriage and joint adoption should not focus on the same-sex couples, but rather the children who could find homes with these couples. Allowing more homes for more foster children can help create a better future for them, one filled with opportunity and hope. Their future is our future, so why not start shaping it now?

To view more on same-sex adoption please visit http://prezi.com/4rdgxhvodj-t/same-sex-adoption/.

What people think

The purpose of the following poll is to test current views and opinions on same-sex adoption and same-sex marriage. These questions and statements do not imply any beliefs held by Loyola University as an institution, nor on the student conducting the poll. Please answer each of the questions honestly and to the best of your abilities.
All participants in this study will remain anonymous and will in no way be penalized for their responses. All responses will remain confidential to this study only; no outside party shall use these results.
I acknowledge that by participating in the following poll I have read and understood the above conditions.

Please answer ALL questions honestly.
Please circle ONE choice as your answer.

The results of this poll surprised me in a few ways. What caught me the most of guard was how no participant believed that being raised by homosexual parents negatively affected a child, yet several people believed single, unmarried homosexuals should not be able to adopt. This was also strange because while 17% of the participants believed single, unmarried homosexuals shouldn’t be able to adopt, 90% believed they should be able to adopt relatives and 100% of the participants agreed states should not deny gay couples adoption rights. Another aspect of the poll that surprised me was how many people believed that one could become gay by interaction with a homosexual. While 62% of participants said no, there were still 7% who answered yes and 14% who answered “sometimes.” Though these numbers are smaller than those who believe this is false, I’m still surprised at how many people still think someone can “become gay” by influence.
I think the problem with this poll, aside from limited questions regarding this topic, is that many people answered the questions with what they thought I wanted to hear. Though I said and emphasized to answer honestly, I don’t think many people did. The subject of the poll caught many people off guard and I think it is for that reason that they didn’t respond maybe as honestly as they could have.
Looking back, there are many questions I should have added to this poll, like, perhaps, if people believe in the “slippery slope” effect. However, certain questions such as that one would require a bit of background knowledge and would prevent the participant from just answering the questions confidently based on what he or she knows. I learned that wording is very important in polls; I had many people who while taking this poll looked up frustrated and asked if they could leave comments on the side, because they weren’t able to answer these questions with just “yes” or “no” answers. This topic is definitely a difficult one to narrow down just to two answers on any question, but in order to try and really get an understanding for how people felt in terms of same-sex adoption and marriage I think it was necessary.

Works Cited
"About The Children." About the Children Waiting for Adoption. N.p., 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2013.
<http://heartgalleryofamerica.com/Adoption/About_the_Children.asp>.
Abrams, Lindsay. "Study: Gay Adoptive Parents Make Great Adoptive Parents." The Atlantic. N.p.,
22 Oct. 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/10/study-gay-adoptive-parents-make-great-adoptive-parents/263893/>.
"Adoption." Unmarried Equality. N.p., 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2013.
<http://www.unmarried.org/parents-children/adoption/>.
"ALGBTICAL." ALGBTICAL. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://www.aglbical.org/2A ADOPTION.htm>.
Aubusson, Kate. "Psychiatrists Oppose Gay Marriage On Child Welfare Grounds." Psychiatry
Update. N.p., 3 May 2012. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.psychiatryupdate.com.au/latest-news/psychiatrists-oppose-gay-marriage-on-child-welfare>.
Bernheim, Gilles. "Homosexual Marriage, Parenting, and Adoption." First Things: A Monthly
Journal of Religion & Public Life. 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=082066a8-9ccf-43f6-9f7f-fe01b3e1dbbd%40sessionmgr104&vid=1&hid=107>.
"Facts and Statistics." Facts and Statistics. Congressional Coalition On Adoption Institute, 2011.
Web. 15 Mar. 2013. <http://www.ccainstitute.org/why-we-do-it-/facts-and-statistics.html>.
"Gay Marriage." Gay Marriage ProCon.org. ProCon.org, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2013.
<http://gaymarriage.procon.org>.
"Lesbian and Gay Adoption Rights." About.com Civil Liberties. N.p., 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2013.
<http://civilliberty.about.com/od/gendersexuality/ig/Lesbian-and-Gay-Rights-101/Gay-Adoption-Rights.htm>.
Lucente, Thomas J., Jr. "Adoption by Same-Sex Couples: A Judicial Roadmap." N.p., 27 May
2012. Web. 8 Apr. 2013. < http://lucente.org/wp/2012/05/27/adoption-by-same-sex-couples-a-judicial-roadmap/#axzz2Q10GsqG2>.
"Marriage Rights and Benefits." Nolo.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013.
<http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/marriage-rights-benefits-30190.html>.
Messerli, Joe. "A Compromise Solution to the Gay Marriage Debate." BalancedPolitics.org.
N.p., 7 Jan. 2012. Web. 8 Apr. 2013. <http://www.balancedpolitics.org/editorial-solution_to_gay_marriage_debate.htm.>.
Michelson, Noah, and Kelli Kennedy. "Number Of Gay Couples Adopting Has Skyrocketed
InPast Decade." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 21 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/21/adoptions-spiked-among-gay-couples_n_1023885.html>.
Mulherin, Kerry. "Gay Adoption." Yahoo! Contributor Network. N.p., 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 16
Apr. 2013. <http://voices.yahoo.com/gay-adoption-2755324.html>.
Murphy, Timothy F. "Same-Sex Marriage: Not a Threat to Marriage or Children." Journal of Social
Philosophy 42.3 (2011): 288-304. Loyola Notre Dame Library. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. <http://content.ebscohost.com/pdf25_26/pdf/2011/BQC/01Sep11/65522860.pdf?T=P&P=AN&K=65522860&S=R&D=aph&EbscoContent=dGJyMNLr40SeprM4xNvgOLCmr0ueqLBSrqu4SbWWxWXS&ContentCustomer=dGJyMPGut0mwqbJPuePfgeyx43zx>.
Pappas, Stephanie. "Why Gay Parents May Be the Best Parents." LiveScience.com. N.p., 15 Jan.
2012. Web. 30 Apr. 2013. <http://www.livescience.com/17913-advantages-gay-parents.html>.
Savage, David G. "Supreme Court Is Urged To Allow Gay Marriage Nationwide." Los Angeles
Times 21 Feb. 2013: n. pag. Web. 15 April 2013. <http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/21/nation/la-na-gay-marriage-20130222>.
Sheklow, Sally. "Forever Hold Your Peace." Lesbian News 36.10 (2011): 32. Print.
"Study: Same-Sex Couples Can Thrive as Adoptive Parents | Momlogic.com." Momlogic.com. N.p.,
27 July 2010. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. <http://www.momlogic.com/2010/07/study_same-s ex_couples_can_thr.php>.
"Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says." Mombian. N.p., 27 Mar. 2007. Web. 15
Apr. 2013. <http://www.mombian.com/2007/03/27/two-million-glb-people-want-to-adopt-study-says/>.
Wiedel, Jason. "The Artificial Controversy Of Chick-fil-A." JasonWiedelcom. N.p., 22 May
2012. Web. 5 Apr. 2013. <http://jasonwiedel.com/2012/07/28/the-artificial-controversy-of-chick-fil-a/>.
Wolf, David A. "Florida Child Injury Lawyer Blog." Can the Parent (Mother / Father) of a Child
Born Out of Wedlock (Illegitimate) Child Bring a Lawsuit for the Florida Wrongful Death of a Child? ::. N.p., 19 Dec. 2011. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. <http://www.floridachildinjurylawyer.com/2011/12/can_the_parent_mother_father_o_2. html>. "World Trends & Forecasts: Homosexuality and Family Formation." The Futurist (2010): n. pag.
Loyola Notre Dame Library. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. <http://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=51dccff6-aa7e-466f-9377-372e9187598b%40sessionmgr110&vid=1&hid=107>.

Cited: "About The Children." About the Children Waiting for Adoption. N.p., 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. &lt;http://heartgalleryofamerica.com/Adoption/About_the_Children.asp&gt;. "Adoption." Unmarried Equality. N.p., 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. &lt;http://www.unmarried.org/parents-children/adoption/&gt; "ALGBTICAL." ALGBTICAL. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Apr. 2013. "Facts and Statistics." Facts and Statistics. Congressional Coalition On Adoption Institute, 2011. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. &lt;http://www.ccainstitute.org/why-we-do-it-/facts-and-statistics.html&gt;. "Gay Marriage." Gay Marriage ProCon.org. ProCon.org, 11 Feb. 2013. Web. 15 Mar. 2013. "Lesbian and Gay Adoption Rights." About.com Civil Liberties. N.p., 2013. Web. 14 Mar. 2013. 2012. Web. 8 Apr. 2013. &lt; http://lucente.org/wp/2012/05/27/adoption-by-same-sex-couples-a-judicial-roadmap/#axzz2Q10GsqG2&gt;. "Marriage Rights and Benefits." Nolo.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Apr. 2013. &lt;http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/marriage-rights-benefits-30190.html&gt;. Mulherin, Kerry. "Gay Adoption." Yahoo! Contributor Network. N.p., 3 Mar. 2009. Web. 16 Apr Murphy, Timothy F. "Same-Sex Marriage: Not a Threat to Marriage or Children." Journal of Social Philosophy 42.3 (2011): 288-304 Pappas, Stephanie. "Why Gay Parents May Be the Best Parents." LiveScience.com. N.p., 15 Jan. 2012 Sheklow, Sally. "Forever Hold Your Peace." Lesbian News 36.10 (2011): 32. Print. "Two Million GLB People Want to Adopt, Study Says." Mombian. N.p., 27 Mar. 2007. Web. 15 Apr "World Trends &amp; Forecasts: Homosexuality and Family Formation." The Futurist (2010): n. pag. Loyola Notre Dame Library

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