Monday, September 19, 2011

Equal Opportunity in Adoption: Necessary, Proper and Desperately Needed

By Roger Canaff

“No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is homosexual.”

So states, in oddly plain and blunt legislative language, the law of the State of Florida. Last month, a Miami-Dade judge declared the law “unconstitutional on its face” and unrelated to the best interests of the child. She appointed custody of an infant (removed from home almost immediately) to a family member who is a lesbian in a committed relationship. Florida’s Department of Child and Family Services filed its appeal last week. The state’s argument and the spirit of the 1977 law boil down to the idea that adoptive parenting by homosexuals is so obviously harmful to children that prohibiting it is “rationally related” to a legitimate state aim. The idea is that heterosexuals are, by definition, better parents. This claim, wherever it asserts itself, is more than baseless and bigoted toward homosexuals. It is tragically shortsighted and remarkably cruel to the roughly100,000 American children (about 7% of them in Florida) waiting to be adopted out of the foster care system.

Several gay friends of mine refer to straight people as “breeders.” And indeed, breed we do. Heterosexuals, generally by definition, produce millions of children each year. And a disturbing percentage of us rip our own children apart like dogs with a chew toy. In two very different cities where I served as an ADA, I encountered fathers who sexually abused their children over years, beginning before the children were in first grade. I saw mothers who literally starved their children to death, or pimped them out for drugs, rent or just extra cash. I saw toddlers pressed against heating grates by one or both parents as if in a waffle iron. I saw fathers who shook infants to blindness and epilepsy, their ribs snapping like dry twigs in the process. In one particularly brutal shaken baby case I prosecuted in the Bronx in 2006, the mother sided with the offending father (a drug dealer) and refused to cooperate with me even while her son languished in a NICU on the edge of death. The people who did these things came from a broad diversity of racial, ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds and circumstances. In fact, there were only two things common to every one of the most brutal physical and sexual abuse cases I worked on:

1. The children involved, if they survived, needed new homes and new parents.

2. The biological parents, whether perpetrators or accomplices, were all heterosexual.

I’m not claiming that homosexual parents, adoptive or biological, can’t or don’t abuse their children. I’m just saying I’ve never seen it. Not in nearly 15 years. The point is not that homosexuals are perfect. The point is that they’re human, and when they are successful, compassionate, loving and stable adults who want to improve the life of a child without a home, they should be considered as adoptive parents.

Opponents of homosexual adoption often try to point to non-religious, “objective factors” to support their arguments. They never get far. No reputable scientific evidence supports a single claim that homosexual parents will be less successful or even that they will somehow foster a homosexual lifestyle on the part of their children. One of the last legislative pushes to prove that homosexuals are naturally disordered and dangerous as parents came from a particularly despicable Virginia legislator in 2004 (to my eternal shame, he represented my hometown of Sterling Park for seven years). The bill he finally got passed in the House of Delegates would have required social workers to investigate whether perspective adoptive parents were homosexual. The rationale, that homosexuality was related to increased levels of child molestation among other things, was based largely on junk science spewed by a single discredited and religiously biased sociologist. The bill, and the sociologist, were eventually routed in the Virginia senate, thanks in good measure to courageous Republicans who called this effort out for the rank bigotry that it was.

Although Biblical views of homosexuality (and similar non-Judeo-Christian religious tenets) are the primary force behind laws like Florida’s and efforts like Virginia’s, I won’t engage in a wholesale bashing of these religious views. There’s enough of that going on, and bigotry against religious people is as bad as bigotry toward anyone. To hold strict religious views is a private and sometimes difficult choice, and I know many decent Christians (among other religious) who struggle to reconcile the doctrines of their faith with their common experience as compassionate people. I draw the line, though, when positions based solely on religious doctrine become law in a pluralistic society. And I draw it in red when children- discarded, debased or destroyed by the supposedly “sexually healthy” people who created them, are languishing in a far too often chaotic, uncertain and flawed foster care system.

A widely known child protection and anti-violence against women advocate, legal expert, author and public speaker, Roger Canaff has devoted his legal career to the eradication of violence against women and children.

Roger Canaff: Anti-Violence Advocate, Child Protection Specialist, Legal Expert
Blog: WCSV (Women, Children, Sex, Violence: Outcry, Analysis, Discussion)


  1. Adoption is a money racket to begin with.
    My daughter age 4 reminded us all one day that a child only has ONE MOTHER.
    The term mother is only given to a woman who has given birth.
    "Best interests of the child"= Hitler's slogan- used to remove children from real mothers so they would never know mother love- Lebensborn Program where the new "mothers" were taught to deprive the children of love and force them to obey.
    I mention this because i have been on adoption sites and see how adopters abuse children- forcing them to comply- for example cutting the child's hair off, forcing the human child to eat the same bowl of cereal for 5 days until it finishes it- sour milk and all.
    It makes me sick to the stomach to know these adopters were approved by some state agent.
    The Baby Thief Georgia Tann was a fine example of the truth. Many adopters are simply needy adults who are conditioned by patriarchal society to believe their "family" is not complete without a child - their own child, anyone's child- makes no difference.
    Religion has removed the truth re the trinity inside each man and woman- not in patriarchal marriage where breeding creates money out of thin air for the bankers.
    It is past time to be honest on this legalised child trafficking racket in USA etc.
    Those who have studied the damaging effects of adoption on children understand the primal wound and why so many adoptees never feel whole until they meet their creator mother.
    We also ned to address the damage done to the real mother.
    What kind of society have we become that we remove children from poor families and give to the rich? That is sick.
    A true society would make sure real mothers had enough money to raise their own children.
    But no, poverty creates problems and problems are big business with the rich blaming the poor for their own plight. Thus dehumanise the poor in order to feel no guilt when stealing their children. I t is one of the criteria in auto genocide USA
    Also to be noted the high % of adoptees who murder their adopters.

    On the matter of homosexuals adopting - well I will simply use the example from UK, where a homosexual couple had sexually abused their adopted child within one year and the innocent child was returned to the care pool- damaged for life.
    I am not saying this happens in every case, but propaganda is making it seem "cool" for gay people to adopt, thus increasing the demand, like in any business.

    Adopters are the buyers and the children the commodity, with the buyer having the choice which child it desires.

    Now that pedophilia is to be decriminalised to make way for the legalised rape of children in USA,we adults will have to answer to these disposable children one day.

  2. Roger: Thanks so much for doing the right thing and posting this issue! You are absolutely correct that LGBT community members are not perfect and that there may be an abuser "somewhere in the mix." However, I don't care what kind of argument others use, a person's sexual orientation has no bearing on their ability to love or raise a child!
    If you are a friend to my community.. therefore you are a friend of mine, Roger.

    Donna R. Gore, M.A.


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