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Both Sides of the Issue

Lesbian and Gay Adoption Rights

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The Case For Gay and Lesbian Adoptions:

  • The United States has many children waiting to be adopted. Older children and those with special needs are especially hard to place. Children who fit this category are in foster homes right now with gay and lesbian parents who want to adopt them. It is unfair to the children to deny them permanent secure homes.

  • Most children in the United States do not live with two married parents. In fact, according to the 2000 census, only 24% homes were composed of a married mother and father with children living at home. The Florida court argues that children are better off raised in a two-parent heterosexual household. In fact, scientific studies have shown that children who grow up in one or two-parent gay or lesbian households fare just as well emotionally and socially as children whose parents are heterosexual. Studies have shown that children are more influenced by their interactions with their parents, than by their sexual orientation. With this in mind, the American Association of Pediatrics supports gay and lesbian couples adopting children.

  • There is no legal reason why gays and lesbians should be denied the right to adopt children. The law only hurts children waiting to be adopted and deprives loving parents who would care for these children.

  • If a couple has a child through artificial insemination, only the birth parent is recognized as the legal guardian. Through second-parent adoption, both parents can obtain legal custody of the child. In the states that do not allow second-parent adoption, if something happens to the custodial parent, the remaining parent, even if they have been raising the child for years, can be seen as a stranger in the eyes of the law. The child may not be eligible for the non-custodial parent’s health insurance, social security or other insurance if that parent becomes incapacitated. There is no way this can be in the best interest of the child.

The Case Against Gay and Lesbian Adoptions:

  • Florida argues that it has the right ban gay adoptions because it is the state’s way of saying it disapproves of gay and lesbians becoming parents.

  • The Florida court argues that children are better off in homes with a mother and a father who are married.

  • Some opponents argue that children of gay and lesbian parents will be subject to harassment and ridicule.
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