Friday, September 18, 2009

Lunchtime Poll Topic #12

O.K., so today's LTPT is a debate that comes up in my house about once a year. It's one of the few areas where Will and I simply cannot find any common ground. We try to avoid talking about it, but there's always some celebrity that puts the topic in the news (and today is no exception) and we inevitably argue about it all over again.

Do you think adoption should be limited to married, heterosexual couples only?

Umm, no. No, I do not.

What has put this in the news again this week is Elton John was trying to adopt a baby with AIDS from the Ukraine. The Ukrainian government told him he was too old, too unmarried and too gay to adopt this terminally ill child.

Now this is not about whether you think Elton John specifically should be allowed to adopt (or Rosie O'Donnell, who is often the catalyst for this debate around here). This is about whether or not you think only straight, married couples should be allowed to adopt.

The case with Rosie O'Donnell that started the first fight Will and I had over this was that she and her partner had been raising a foster daughter (in addition to the three adopted children they already had). They wanted to adopt the little girl also, but the state of Florida does not allow homosexuals to adopt (yet it's totally O.K. for them to be foster parents). There was another instance (also in Florida) that really set my blood boiling. A gay couple had been fostering kids with AIDS for years. They had had many of these kids in their home for close to ten years. I don't remember exactly, but I think they had seven AIDS/HIV positive children. The kids were happy and thriving and loved and cared for. The couple were in a committed and loving (though, yes, homosexual) relationship. The kids desperately wanted to be adopted by these men. They, like all children, wanted permanence. They didn't want to live under the threat of being placed in a new foster home at any time on the whim of the Florida department of family services. Let me remind you, these are kids with AIDS. These are older children. These are kids that most social services departments categorize as unadoptable. Yet when two capable people are willing and able (financially and emotionally) to adopt them, they are denied simply because they are gay. It's not so much the gay couple I feel bad for here, but the children.

Now, yes, Mormons, I know that the plan says a mother and a father who are married (preferably in the temple) is the ideal situation. I get that. I understand that if these children were adopted by a gay couple there is no hope of them being sealed to them for eternity. I really do get that.

But I don't think these kids should be denied the opportunity to be raised in a permanent home by people who love them. I mean, you'd rather see a child with AIDS live out its life moving from foster home to foster home rather than being adopted by a gay couple who will love and care for and adore it? Really?

And what about single people adopting? How do you feel about that? For me, there's no difference. Yes, two parents are ideal, but if you're a child in foster care, one parent is better than none.

And what about when we're not talking about foster kids and terminally ill kids? Should gays and singles be allowed to adopt the unwanted, unadoptable kids and leave the healthy infants for married couples? (Again, I say no, but I know I have less ground to stand on with this one).

O.K., sorry to get all ranty, but I feel pretty strongly about this one. I know many of you out there will disagree with me on this. I can't wait to see what you have to say.

You'll be totally wrong, but that's O.K. No one's perfect.

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