Thursday, January 9, 2014

What about the "they're better off with gays than in an orphanage" argument?

Very quickly, here's a recap of a quick email exchange I had earlier today:

Hi Robbie (sic),

I was wondering how you liked to respond to the argument that goes like this:

1) There are lots of children in orphanages
2) There are not enough straight couples willing to adopt them

3) Giving them to gay couples is less harmful than keeping them in the orphanage
4) Therefore, we should allow gay couples to adopt children from orphanages.

I myself don't know the statistics, but the strength of this argument certainly depends on the number of children who need parents compared to the number of couples willing to adopt kids. 

How do you counter this? Or, I suppose I should first ask do you counter this? (I read your post today, but your comments about gay parenting had more to do with preventing gay couples from buying children via surrogacy etc. What if a country outlawed such procedures but allowed gay couples to adopt children from orphanages?)


My reply:

The statistics are fudged. Many children who are counted in those figures are old enough to be in foster care and then emancipated. They can choose to stay in contact with foster parents but should not be forced by adoption to relinquish their birth parents and never have a mom or dad.

Also many of those children counted would not be accepted by gay couples or would not want to be placed there. 

Many children counted in those figures still have a chance to repair things with their birth parents but need institutional help.

Alternatives exist. There is foster care which does not permanently deny a child a mom or dad 

There is research showing that in many cases older children fare better in orphanages than in new homes, especially abroad (see blog). See here and here.

For infants and toddlers there is a long waiting list of straight couples waiting to adopt. Adoption agencies are tasked with recruiting such homes if there is a shortage.

If a gay person wants to adopt they should build a home with the opposite sex and give the child a mom or dad. Otherwise they can do foster care.

Sent from my iPhone