Three articles on adoption in today’s press caught my attention. There are not usually that many articles on adoption in the press, so to have three in a day was as unusual as it was interesting. Each dealt with somewhat different issues, but there was some overlap.
The first concerned a government crackdown on those seeking to adopt children from overseas. In an effort to weed out potential dangers, Australians hoping to adopt will need to go through a security check. Here is how one press report describes it:
“Criminal-history checks will be mandatory for Australians who adopt overseas-born children or sponsor foreign brides with kids. The requirement, which comes into effect this week, is aimed at stopping pedophiles gaining free access to potential child victims. Up to 6000 Australians a year will have to prove they are not sex offenders before adoption or partner visas are granted. The changes follow concerns as far back as 2005 that sex offenders were preying on overseas-born children in their care.”
The second article served as sort of an illustration of the dangers involved. It concerns an American woman Aimee Louise Sword who raped a biological son she had earlier adopted out. This is how the story begins:
“A mother has been charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct after she allegedly tracked down the son she adopted out a decade ago, seduced and then raped him. Prosecutors in the US claim Aimee Louise Sword of Waterford Township near Detroit found her biological son after an online search. They told Fox News the boy was still under the legal age of consent, but would not disclose whether he knew Sword was his mother. Mental health experts called the case ‘an abomination’ and said if proven it would have long lasting effects on the boy.”
In a third story, we are informed that aging rocker and homosexual Elton John was smitten with a young boy and wants to adopt him. The story runs this way: “Elton John wants to adopt a 14-month-old boy from the Ukraine, saying that the toddler has ‘stolen my heart’ after meeting him at an orphanage. The British singer-songwriter, visiting the Ukraine with his AIDS charity foundation, performed for children at the orphanage, some of whose parents had died of the disease. Asked at a press conference later with his partner David Furnish, 42, whether they had ever considered adopting, John said he wanted to adopt 14-month-old Lev.”
So what do these three stories have in common? Well, they are all obviously about adoption. But all three raise issues about what adoption is for, and in whose interests it is. In the past adoption was about one thing: a child tragically had lost his or her parents, and was in need of another heterosexual couple to provide love, protection and rearing.
The interests, in other words, centred on the child, not the adults. The wellbeing and interests of the child were always paramount in cases of adoption. But as these three stories indicate, there has been a shift to the interests of the adult. In two of the cases, adults are involved in the sexual exploitation of children. In the last case, two adults simply want a child, regardless if they would be able to provide the optimum environment for it.
All would agree that seeking to adopt a child simply to sexually misuse and abuse him or her is beyond the pale. But one must ask whether such things as homosexual adoption rights are much better, when the wellbeing of the child is at stake.
As it stands, the social science research is quite clear on what best contributes to the good of children. First and foremost are two biological parents, preferably bonded by marriage. After that, a similar situation would be preferred: a stable, heterosexual married couple.
Elton John may be taken by this child, but it clearly is not in the child’s interests to be raised by two men. A child needs to be raised in a situation where both male and female role models are present. While adults may go on and on about their rights to adopt a child, the interests of the child instead should be paramount.
If for whatever reason a child cannot be raised by two biological parents, then the next best thing should be sought. Homosexual couples come nowhere near to this ideal. They should not be pushing their own selfish interests ahead of the wellbeing of the child.
We rightly want to ensure that children are raised in the best possible environment. That is why the government is introducing these security checks. That is a good first step. But it will simply take away with one hand what it has given with the other if it allows same-sex adoption to be legalised.
Children, not adults, should come first here. Those people who eschew heterosexual relationships have no right to demand the benefits of it – the rearing and raising of children. Children deserve better, and we owe them the best possible start in life.
That individual homosexuals may be loving and kind to a child is not the issue. A child needs a mum and a dad, and when that is not possible, then the closest thing to that is what should be on offer. Anything less is a fundamental violation of the rights of the child.