Thursday, January 29, 2009

Social workers hand brother and sister to gay men for adoption

The UK may be only a few years ahead of us in their permissive social attitudes and this story from the UK newspaper, Daily Mail, is disturbing because the courts determined it was better for a young brother and sister to be placed for adoption in a homosexual home, rather than be adopted by their maternal grandparents because the grandparents are too old (46 and 59) and have health problems (he has angina, she has diabetes).

6 comments:

Adam Lowe said...

But, in this case, the grandparents were deemed to have ill health as such that they couldn't raise the children themselves. We hear far too much about children becoming carers for their guardians, so it's worth balancing the argument a bit.

What's better, to have children looked after by a loving couple who can support them and take care of them? Or stick them with elderly relatives who, instead of looking after the kids, need the kids to look after them? I'm sorry, I don't buy that at all.

Debbie said...

I don't believe a 46 year-old grandmother and a 59 year-old grandfather constitutes "elderly." Also, the health conditions sound like ones that can be controlled and aren't immediately life-threatening. It sounds to me like the courts are doing some social-engineering and trying to say that two daddies are better than a mommy and a daddy. I don't buy that at all.

Adam Lowe said...

Why on Earth would they think two daddies are better than a mother and father? It's not an either/or choice, anyway. Two fathers can provide a loving, functional, if alternative family that is every bit as successful as a family with a mother and father. Do you really think *anyone*, even gay people, think gay couples are better than straight couples at raising children?

And what reason would they have for social engineering?

Debbie, 46 and 59 isn't elderly yet, but the children are 4 and 5, so when those children are 10 and 11, one of their grandparents will already be retired. At this age they will be doing KS2 SATs and joining high school, respectively. If the health of the grandparents are of such a concern to the local authorities that the kids were placed in foster care (which they have been prior to this decision to have them adopted), then clearly any health problems will be more of a problem, not less.

Imagine, if you will, that there are very real health issues at stake here. Angina and diabetes can be very severe. It's unfortunate that the grandparents cannot (or is it that they don't want to?) be identified, because then we could make an objective assessment of these health problems. I venture that they must be very serious indeed for the CPA to even consider putting them in foster care, and don't forget that both grandparents did agree to this at the time.

Furthermore, one retired grandparent would mean one carer who most likely wasn't working. Would a state pension be enough to support the children? If the grandparents are already ill, are they working? Are they on benefits? Are these benefits enough to look after the children?

This is not a conducive environment for children of school age. If they're not placed in the right home, they might fail their exams and will start their adult lives on the wrong foot.

Finally, there may be other reasons the children have been removed from the grandparents' care. We've only heard the grandparents' story. No one from the local authorities has backed up or denied their claims. It's possible the children have been mistreated or neglected, or are exposed to inappropriate situations. After all, the children's mother is a drug addict. Does she visit often? What state is she in when she visits? Is her continued presence at the home hindering her children's upbringing? Exposing them to drug use or inappropriate persons?

There's so much we do not know and we cannot decry what may be a perfectly logical and appropriate decision based on gut-reactions and homophobia. This isn't about whether straight couples are better than gay couples. This is about which is the best family for these children. (And a family isn't a mother, father and 2.4 kids.)

Don't forget, plenty of straight parents screw up their kids. Gay couples haven't, until recent years, been given the chance, and only time will tell. It may turn out, in 20-30 years, gay couples are every bit as qualified as straight couples, or maybe even more. But even then, statistics are based on generalisations and this is based on specificities. In another situation, a straight couple might be preferrable. This time, it isn't. Tough luck to all you folks with closed minds out there, but that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Debbie said...

Adam, you ask a lot of questions that we don't have answer to because we only know what's in the news article. But I'd like to address a couple of your points.

You say, "Why on Earth would they think two daddies are better than a mother and father? It's not an either/or choice, anyway."

But in this case the court has said it is better for the children to have two daddies. And, yes, it is a case of either/or for these children. But I agree with you..."Why on earth would they think two daddies are better than a mother and a father?" My answer is, "Because they want to re-create a society that follows the rules of politically correct behavior as opposed to one which follows traditionally held views of family based upon natural law."

You say, "And what reason would they have for social engineering?"

Governments (and the courts) are strongly influenced by lobbying groups, public opinion and special interests. Might I suggest that their reason for social engineering, i.e., re-defining "family," is due to extreme pressure from all of the above.

As for 46 being "elderly," I have to tell you that I laughed when I read that in your first comment. (Thanks for clarifying that you really meant, "not elderly YET.") You see, I'm 46 and my youngest child is 7. And I have several friends who've given birth (without aid of fertility drugs) at age 47. All moms and kids are doing well and they are surrounded by loving fathers and siblings. So 46 is still within the very natural and normal realm of being able to give birth to a newborn baby. I know the thought may horrify you...the prospect of having a mother in her 60's when you're graduating from high school, but these days it's not that unusual.

But, I will admit that this story doesn't tell us much about the state pensions of the grandparents. Nor does it tell us the higher-than-average suicide rate among gay men. Or their higher-than-average rate of AIDS, or multiple sexual partners. But maybe these two daddies are living in a monogamous, stable, loving relationship and will expose their new kids to families of all types, including heterosexual Catholic homeschooling families with 10 kids and one straight mom and one straight dad?

Adam Lowe said...

You also make some very good points. My problem is, I guess, that the article you reference is in The Daily Mail (nicknamed The Daily Fascist here in the UK). It doesn't adequately provide context on this story and sticks to moral gut-reactions for maximum effect.

Yes, your points about there being higher rates of HIV/AIDS in the gay community are true. But there's more teenage pregnancy and higher incidences of other STIs in the straight community here in the UK. Levels of sex education in the gay community are shown to be much higher than in the straight community. We have a huge problem with STIs (particularly chlamydia) spreading amongst young heterosexuals, and often causing infertility. This is a greater threat to family life than a healthy, well-adjusted gay couple adopting two kids who've probably had a hell of a bad time of it so far.

I'm not sure I buy your social engineering argument, either, but that's something that will be hard to prove either way.

Also, you mention the higher rate of suicide amongst the LGBT community. I'd say this is a product of society continually refusing to recognise LGBT citizens as equal, for example by denying gay couples the right to adopt. For instance, recent surveys have found that LGBT teens whose parents have an issue with their sexuality are more likely to commit suicide than those whose parents are accepting of it. This is, might I add, an instance of straight couples failing their children, not gay couples, and the suicide figure you mention is a result of this. I would venture that allowing gay couples to adopt, such as this couple, would *reduce* their likelihood of committing suicide.

I guess this might be something we'll have to wait on, as I'm sure more details about this story and the grandparents will hit the news over the next few weeks. Then we can all make a more balanced opinion.

Debbie said...

You're right, Adam. I just posted a link with more news on this story.