Now that same-sex marriage is legal in California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, married same-sex parents in these states should be considered legal parents of their child from the time of the child's birth, like heterosexual married couples. The same is theoretically true in New Jersey, Oregon and the District of Columbia, which grant legal parent status to partners of birth parents when a child is born during a domestic partnership or civil union.
Children adopted by gay couples weren’t snatched from happy hetero families. Most will come from orphanages, foster homes or single mums unable to cope. Many are from poor countries. The family, gay or straight, is better than the alternatives. Given the shortage of suitable straight couples, gay adoption can provide kids the loving homes they need. That’s good for children, good for couples wanting to raise a child and good for society. There are now around 65,000 children who have found homes thanks to gay adoption legislation in the United States.
3. A DEMOCRATIC DECISION
Democracy doesn’t always achieve the outcome you want. Yet we have to respect the democratic decision of people who vote for politicians and governments that oppose gay adoption. They are the elected representatives of their societies and we should accept that, even if we disagree with what they have to say.
4. BREAKING DOWN PREJUDICES
Societies that embrace diversity are stronger and better off. Children raised by gay couples may have different outlooks – surveys in the US have shown they grow up more tolerant and open-minded. That can only be good. Lifting bans on gay marriage or gay adoption are steps towards more diverse, more tolerant societies, where nobody faces discrimination. “Now we’re on the right side of history,” said Portuguese gay rights campaigner Isabel Advirta, after parliament approved the gay adoption law in December.
4. SHUTTING DOORS
Faith-based adoption agencies play a vital role in ensuring orphaned, abandoned and deprived children can find loving homes. Many will simply give up rather than be forced by the law to hand children over to same-sex couples. It’s already happening: Catholic agencies in Britain and the United States have shut shop in the wake of laws that would have obliged them to send children to gay couples. Enforcing legalisation will make if more difficult for needy children to find the families they need.
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