Current Social and Moral Issues
Gays Should Be Allowed to Adopt Children
Political scientists define political tolerance as the willingness of individuals to respect the democratic rights of groups they don’t like. For example, people are tolerant under this definition if they do not like evangelical Christians, but they are willing to allow group members to run for political office, teach children, or hold political rallies. However, some political theorists argue for a view of political tolerance that requires more from people (Moore 1). According to these theorists, people should take action to protect each other’s freedom to be different. Such an obligation should lead people to help others who belong to unpopular groups, so they can “lead the good life” and share in society’s benefits. It is also found that among those prejudiced against gays and lesbians, positive tolerance leads to some support for the rights of gays and lesbians to both marry and adopt children. Some of the positively tolerant people overlook their negative group effect to support gays and lesbians in “living the good life” (Moore 1). Allowing gay males to marry and raise a family continues to be a controversial issue. There are many arguments in support of preventing gay males from adopting children. The most common argument is that gay males have an agenda to influence their children to become gay. “Others argue that gay-male couples have poorer than average parenting skills, relative to accepted social norms. There are also others who question the mental health of gay males because of their sexual orientation. Another claim is that children raised by gay males are more likely to be suicidal” (Lobaugh 5-6). These and many other issues prevent gays from adopting children and raising families. This is why the gays’ battle for adoption rights has been fought for many years. Because of many prejudices among people, this battle has not ended. Nevertheless, the following research supports gays in adopting children.
Foster care and adoption by gay men and lesbians is not a new phenomenon. Children and youths have been placed by states in homes with gay and lesbian parents for several decades. Some gay men and lesbians have fostered or adopted children independently from private agencies or have made private adoption arrangements with individual birthmothers, while others have adopted through the public system (Mallon 1). Adopting a child is a very stressful process in general, especially for gays. Gay male couples who adopt children face ongoing challenges that stem from both historical and contemporary issues. In a heterosexual family, adopting a child is stressful enough and involves changes in the financial, cultural, and family system expectations. For gay-male couples, there is a similar stress, but it is additionally compounded by societal trends that make adoption difficult. Heterosexist values, beliefs, and cultural practices have negatively imposed upon the rights of gay males to adopt children. Although gay males and other groups experienced freedom for a brief moment during the Second World War, when the war ended, this reverted to significant oppression, and homosexuals were labeled as communists (Lobaugh 1-3). Even though the challenges continue, there have been legal victories in the struggle for gay rights. Gays have fought for the right to marry and the right to adopt children. Granting these rights has provided an overarching momentum for gay men and lesbians toward the full privileges of being a couple, which includes adopting and raising children. As a result, currently, more than half the states permit gays and lesbians to adopt (Lobaugh 4). However, challenges always exist and always will. In custody cases involving children, the courts have often considered the sexual orientation of the parents in their determinations. Falk’s and Flak’s extensive...
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