Marriage equality persists to a be a herculean concern for many individuals in the homosexual community despite the fact that heterosexual officials and denizens critique the notion of marriage equality, as it continues to elide the litany of concerns revolving around the issue. Many homosexual families believe that the issue of marriage equality will lay the foundation fr establishing the rights for gay couples to adopt progeny in order to start a family. As such, marriage equality undergirds the very issue of procuring spousal benefits as well as adoption rights. In a different vein, however, there is a handful of Americans who view the sacred institution of marriage as a symbolic representation of romantic love that takes place between only a man and a woman in the purely biological sense. Such a traditional and antiquated perception eschews modern contingencies while also ignoring the scholarly work of sociologists, historians such as Dr. John E. Boswell as well as John Stuart Mill who argue that homosexual couples should have equal rights with their heterosexual counterparts so that their lives never are endangered in a society defined by heteropatriarchy and the heteronormative paradigm. Addition, same-sex couples argue that Americans must become better educated on the legitimacy and toleration of marriages that deviate from the tradition view of marriage as an institution. The escalating divorce rates for heterosexual couples pose significant and poignent questions about the institution of marriage and within which contingencies and family environment should be discarded or adopted youth of the modern day be raised under.
The issue regarding the ability of same-sex couples adopting children continues in the media, amongst politicians, and in various public discourses due to an amalgam of factors and issues that continue to divide American society along religious, political, and moral lines. Many social activists such as Brandy Almond argue that the issues about the gay adoption debate do no squarely focus on sexual morality. Politicians and other critics frame the debate about same-sex adoption and prejudice within broader conversations about the family, its definition, and its place within the fabric of American society. The perceptions of the family are categorized in a dyadic fashion between who’s who view the family as a socially constructed entity versus those who render it a biological construct. Ultimately, the adoption of children by lesbian gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals has emerged as a social, religious, and political issue that continues to undergird debates about the nuclear family in the present day. Six countries have hitherto legalize the adoption of children as part and parcel of same-sex adoption. Analyzing the issues that undergird adoption by non-normative families within the heteronormative paradigm will be helpful in rendering a cogent decision regarding this politically charged issue. An objective report is necessary in order to consider the nuances of this relevant issue.
Thus, two distinct sides concerning the debate over allowing same-sex couples have emerged regarding whether or not children with same-sex parents are harmed or not due to how entrenched heteropatriarchy is in the modern era. While many chroniclers believe that children are not harmed or at-risk if they inhabit a same-sex household, others argue that same-sex couples are incapable of fomenting a home environment that is both productive and beneficial to the development of children. One camp of critics argue that same-sex couples, due to the unconventional and untraditional lifestyles that they embrace—at the chagrin of politicians and religious fanatics alike--foments an environment for the children that exposes them to endemic to promiscuity, greater mental health issues, heightened suicidal ideation, and violence. Homosexual promiscuity is often conflated with ideas regarding monogamous relationships, which may cause a child to become quite confused regarding how romantic relationships and marriages should be with the Judeo-Christian paradigm for the institution of marriage. Other statistics point to quantified evidence that reveal how members of the homosexual community confront disproportionately mental health problems in comparison for their heterosexual counterparts. Statistics show that seventy five percent of homosexuals have reportedly sought mental health services and counseling. Furthermore, the statistical number of homosexuals who have reported substance abuse in comparison to others: ninety-one percent alcohol, thirty four percent on food, twenty-nine percent on codependency, and eleven percent on se. As such, this quantitative data shows that homosexuals and far more likely to attempt suicide is far higher than for those who identify as heterosexual (Daily 29).
The principal reason that people do not want it to be legal for homosexual couples to adopt or have progeny merely because of the mental health and state of the children themselves. Studies reveal that children are not actually at risk or threatened when they are raised and grow up in same-se households. Conversely, other studies reveal that the sample sauce used in these studies are inadequate and lacks the required sampling mechanisms, which detracts from the credence of such studies. Other studies show that very few or no differences between children who were raised in homosexual households versus those who were not, experience very few differences and discrepancies. Trayce Hanson, a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, psychologists, ad cultural commentator, argues that love and romance themselves are not enough to effectively raise a child within the context of modernity. She declared that the youth required five specific aspects and experiences in order to mature and develop in a normative and healthy way: the child must receive affectionate, motherly and fatherly love; children must also progress through defined stages of development during which the child needed their mother at the outset until approximately the age of eight until the later stages when they needed to cultivate a meaningful relationship with their father; the necessity of children to bond with an authoritative figure from the opposite sex in order to regulate their constructed gender proclivities; he argument that gay marriage would amplify sexual anxieties and uncertainties as well as sexual liberation and experimentation by the youth; and ultimately, sanctioning same-sex marriage and granting same-sex couples the right t adopt children, then,, critics argue, other alternative lifestyles and marriage practices such as polyandrous and polygamous relations would further confuse children and their perceptions of the world (Hanson). Such arguments proffered against sanctioning same-sex marriage and adoption mirror issues conjured by regarding single parents raising children, which has become increasingly common due to the escalation of divorce rates. Gender, although it is a social construction and biological fiction that nonetheless has material consequences is a central issue in public debates and dialogue regarding the nuclear family and what dynamics undergird a functioning and effective mode of parenting.
Statistics according to census date nonetheless reveal that, besides a litany of structural and institutional barriers and an uneven, non-linear landscape, more and more gay couples have chosen to adopt children so that they can raise a family. Unfortunately, children raised in homosexual lack to protections and rights that the state extends to the progeny of heterosexual couples. Gay couples are only prohibited from legally adopting children in Massachusetts and in Utah, although gay couples nonetheless encounter critical legal obstacles in over half of the other states due to the fact that gay marriage has not been explicitly legalized in certain states. In the face of such legal matrices, same-sex couples continue to adopt children as at an exponentially increasing rate. An estimated nineteen percent of gay couples in the United States have reported that they opted to adopt children in 2009 alone (Tavernise). Advocates laud such quantitative data because it lends credence to pro-gay rights activists who argue that the growing demand for homes to place children waiting for adoption—which has totaled over 115,000 children in the United States alone—supports same-sex couples adopting children from pragmatic rather than religious or cultural reasons and justifications. The construct of the ideal family has also shifted over the past three decades, which the law has not yet caught up to. As such, gay couples face a litany of legal barriers that emanate directly out of prohibitions placed on the widening of the definition of marriage due to traditional mores, according to the Family Equality Council, or a local organization that advocates for the rights of gay families. In the majority of the states within the U.S., gay men and women are legally permitted to adopt children.
While there have been y legal victories procured over time for same-sex couples, such victories have been concurrently tempered by regressions such as in states like Arizona in which a law was recently passed that mandates that social workers give preference to opposite-sex couples over their homosexual counterparts. Despite the politics and laws involved, and the ethicl principles involved, it is unequivocally that sanctioning same-sex adoption not only contributes to the push for social justice for all in America but also contributes to the alleviation of an overly strained social work area in which many children are in need of adoption.
American Psychiatric Association. Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives. [Brochuse]/ Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association. 2009.
Burroway, J. “Testing the Premise: Are Gays a Threat to Out Children? Retrieved April 166, 2015 from Box Turtle Bulletin website: http://www.boxturtlebulleint.com/articles/000,0002.htm
Hansen, Trayce. "Dr. Trayce Hansen's Writings." Dr. Trayce Hansen's Writings. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. http://www.drtraycehansen.com/Pages/writings_notinthebest.html
Tavernise, Sabrina. "Adoptions by Gay Couples Rise, Despite Barriers." The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 June 2011. Web. 18 Apr. 2015. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/14/us/14adoption.html?_r=0