“Same sex adoption: Do I qualify?”

ENG 1000cResearch Paper 12/17/03
In recent years, the gay adoption issue has taken big dimensions. Ever since the public acknowledged that Rosie O’Donnel is a gay mother. This has caused many states to debate the legality of the issue, and has created a public debate on the ethics of it.

In trying to understand the issues at hart, I researched it from a unique point of view. I interviewed 3 gay couples at different stages of adoption. These are their stories.

The first couple we will meet are two women, who have successfully adopted two children. They actually adopted these children (now aged 10 and 12) before they met or had a relationship. Each one underwent lengthy procedures with the state adoption agency to get approved as single mothers.

“The state examines not only you’re ability to raise the child” says Nathalie “but also asks rather impersonal questions. I was asked if I was homosexual, I was asked if I had ever had homosexual relations, I was asked if I had any sexual attraction to younger children etc”. I asked her how she handled these questions, and she replied “at first, I did not know what to do. I left the questions blank, and went on to the more important elements, employment, money etc. About a week later, I got a call from the adoption agency asking me why I had not completed all the questions on the form. “They told me that if I do not complete all the questions that my application would be summarily rejected”.

“I sat there, thought about it, long and hard. I wanted to adopt a child, I wanted to raise a child and have a family. What could I do? I was going to get rejected … so I decided that having a child was more important to me that some form, and so I merrily went to the adoption agency, lied through my teeth on the form, made myself sound like Ms. America, and got accepted for the program.”

“I do feel ashamed of having lied. I find that I am one of the most honest people around. I could not give up my chance to become a mother for a small white lie” she ends off.

Melanie had a much easier time, because in her case, no one asked any personal questions. “I had a good adoption lawyer. There is a high demand in the south for good parents, and I qualified for the program. I was never asked about my sexual orientation, I was just asked for financial information. Maybe the lawyer did something, I don’t know, but my experience was a lot simpler and less stressful than Nathalie’s.

I asked both why they chose to go through this process as opposed to another child process of for example artificial insemination. Melanie replied by saying: “Although it probably would have been simpler to do that, my reasoning was that there are so many orphans and abandoned children in America today, who deserve the chance to have a good home and a good family, and to grow up with people who care about them. To me, a child is a child, and all children deserve to be taken care of. I did not think of my personal convenience”

I then asked the couple to tell us if it was difficult for the children to have a gay parent. Nathalie, who has the oldest of the two replies: “You know, these days, these kids know a lot more about ‘the birds and the bees’ than we did at their age. I know that my son, at age 10, came and asked me straight out, mommy are you gay. I was expecting that question much later in life. And I remember looking at him, and saying ‘yes, Justin, I am’. For a split second, I did not know what else to say, or how he would react. So then my son said ‘That’s great!!!’ I was flabbergasted, and asked him why. He said ‘because my friend Tommy’s daddy is gay too, so I can join Tommy’s club”. Alas, outwitted by two 10 year olds. Obviously, he did not understand exactly what being gay is or means, but as he got older, he understood more