Adoption Institute Promotes Adoption by Homosexuals
Special Report - October 8, 2008
A new report by the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute argues that state laws and long-standing adoption agency practices need to be changed to allow for homosexuals to adopt children in foster care. The 50-page report, “Expanding Resources for Waiting Children II: Eliminating Legal and Practice Barriers to Gay and Lesbian Adoption from Foster Care,” begins by noting the fact that “tens of thousands” of children are currently in foster care in the United States and in need of permanent adoptive families. “There has long been a consensus in our country, at its best manifested in legislation and practice, that we need to do all we can for vulnerable children,” said Adam Pertman, Executive Director of the Adoption Institute. “But todayeven though tens of thousands of children need homes and the research clearly shows that gays and lesbians make fine parentsthere are efforts in states like Arkansas to impose restrictions on qualified applicants simply because of their sexual orientation.”
The Adoption Institute report recommends a number of changes in current state adoption laws, including: 1) changing state policies to “explicitly recognize foster parenting by gays and lesbians;” 2) rescinding state laws that explicitly prohibit homosexuals from adopting; and 3) changing state laws to allow for “joint” or “second parent” adoptions. It also recommends that adoption agencies make any necessary changes to ensure that their policies “are welcomingin recruitment, training and post-placement servicesfor all qualified family resources who want to provide homes for children in foster care, including gays/lesbian individuals and couples.”
The report claims, “[R]esearch shows that children fare as well with gay or lesbian parents as those raised by heterosexuals,” while admitting that “there is currently little research on the long-term outcomes for children adopted by gay and lesbian parents.” In fact, in the few existing studies of children of homosexual parents, researchers compared these children to children from divorced or single parent families, instead of to the children of married parents. One reason for this is that most children being raised by homosexual parents have also experienced the breakup of their parent’s marriage through divorce. According to a 2003 study by the Center for Law and Public Policy, “Children of gay and lesbian parents do not look different from their counterparts raised in heterosexual divorced families regarding school performance, behavior problems, emotional problems, early pregnancy, or difficulties finding employment.”
An objective analysis of 49 empirical studies on same-sex parenting conducted by Drs. Robert Lerner and Althea Nagai in 2001 found at least one fatal research flaw in each study. These flaws included: missing or inadequate comparison groups; self-constructed, unreliable and invalid measurements; and missing and inadequate statistical analysis. As a result, Drs. Lerner and Nagai concluded that no generalizations can be made from any of the studies and that public policy decisions should not be based on their findings.
“The thousands of children in foster care who are waiting for loving families to adopt them is something that should concern every one of us,” says Matt Lytle, director of research for the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “The Adoption Institute is to be commended for drawing attention to this urgent need, but the solution to this problem is not to open the door for homosexuals to adopt these children. Children thrive best in families with a married father and a mother. With this in mind, states and adoption agencies should work to make traditional families aware of the plight of orphans, which in many ways are ‘the least of these.’ If traditional families would get involved by adopting or fostering, states and adoption agencies would not need to look elsewhere.”
Recognizing this urgent need, Focus on the Family joined with Shaohannah's Hope and FamilyLife in 2006 to launch “Cry of the Orphan.” The project seeks to unite Christian families, organizations and churches to care for orphans, including children in foster care, around the world. “There are 300,000 churches in the United States and 118,000 children [in this country] waiting to be adopted," said Mark Andre, director of the newly formed Orphan Care Initiative at Focus on the Family. “It's not even one per church. We want to see Christians rise up to that challenge.”
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