Gay Adoption Rights

Gay Adoption Rights
Should gay couples be able to adopt children? Absolutely!
As the push to obtain legal status for gay marriage forges ahead adoption will be the next hurdle. An adoption rights battle has been raging in the UK of late. Similar scenarios will likely unfold in N. American jurisdictions in the not-too-distant future.
The battle in the UK centers around the provisions of the new new Equality Act. The Act bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. It seems though the Catholic church believes that when it comes to the adoption of children by gay couples anti-discrimination laws shouldn’t apply to Catholic adoption agencies.
Catholic authorities in the UK have been trying to negotiate a loophole that would enable them to refuse gay couples who are seeking to adopt. Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has added fuel to the fire by describing the extension of adoption rights to gays as “discrimination against Catholics”.
How can equality mandated by a democratic Parliament be viewed as discrimination against Catholics? Equality is equality – period. If the government grants an exception to Catholics allowing them to discriminate in the case of gay couples it will open up a can of worms. Any group can then claim that they too can’t abide by anti-discrimination laws for any one of a number of reasons.
Catholic adoption agencies in the UK carry out public welfare functions for which service they receive public monies. They only deal with about 4% of adoptions in the UK but handle a third of all adoptions involving children who are considered “difficult to place”.
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor has threatened a shut down of Catholic agencies unless an exception is made for Catholics on the issue of gay adoptions.
If church agencies can’t work within civil society and accept across-the-board equality as mandated by a democratically elected government there is the option to work under their own institutional auspices. I’m quite sure the Vatican has sufficiently deep pockets to fund Church endeavors. Catholics or any other religious group for that matter should not be allowed to dictate the terms when it comes to anti-discrimination laws in civil society at large.
The arguments against gay adoption put forward by the religious go all the way from scriptural objections to the citing of the homosexual lifestyle as being “inappropriate” for young children.
We have a lot of damaged children in our society. A minority of dysfunctional heterosexual families have created this mini-generation of the walking wounded not gays. A young girl who has suffered abuse at the hands of a male may arguably fare best in an environment with loving women for parents. The key to the care of adopted children surely is the capacity to provide loving and consistent care. It isn’t acceptable to suggest that a prospective parent who shows these aptitudes and skills should be barred from adopting on the basis of his or her sexual orientation.


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