Adoption in the News

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.

www.heraldsun.com.au/news/pedophile-crackdown-in-child-migration/story-e6frf7jo-1225772462006 www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,26069419-2,00.html?from=igoogle+gadget+compact+news_rss
www.heraldsun.com.au/news/world/elton-john-to-adopt-boy/story-e6frf7lf-1225772485981

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13 Replies to “Adoption in the News”

  1. Bill, I’m thinking that before long your words on homosexual adoption (at least in Britain) will be legally actionable as Hate Speech – if they’re not already; but then, what is legal and good, illegal and bad, have not been the same thing, in the UK, for some time …
    John Thomas, UK

  2. Adoption in the News

    In the beginning God creatored male and female, not male and male. Time has proven God’s best for the caring and rearing of young humans, the union of male and female, the most stable, safe and favourable environment to nurture the next generation.
    Security checks and all other checks will not guarantee the safety of the innocent. The crack for the possible offender has not narrowed with this new added procedure but has just given the innocent yet another mound of paper work. A check of the motives of the would be parents a better option for the safety of the child . The most favourable up bringing a little human can have is with both male and female. This is not a new idea it’s been around as long as we have been here on the earth “In the beginning God creatored male and female“. Wouldn’t you say the union between male and female and it’s staying power, it’s fruitfulness to multiple is proof enough to being the best family environment for the child. Can homosexuality match the multiplication factor?

    Janine Cossar

  3. Bill – are you aware of any studies that look at the long-term impact of children who are kept in orphanages? I am sure the retort from the same-sex coupling crowd will be that surely allowing same-sex couples to adopt is far better than leaving the child in an orphanage – especially as the ideal (an adopting hetero-married couple) may not always be forthcoming?

    How and with what would you counter that claim?

    Mathew Hamilton, Victoria

  4. Thanks Mathew

    Yes those very charges have been levelled against me before: ‘You would rather have a kid stranded in an orphanage instead of put in a loving home that happens to be gay’. Of course this is what is known as a logical fallacy, specifically, a false dilemma. This involves a situation in which two alternative points of view are held to be the only options, when in reality there exist one or more other options which have not been considered.

    The options are not just a life of misery in an orphanage, or a great time with a homosexual rocker and his boyfriend. There is of course a third option: There are plenty of married heterosexual couples both in the Ukraine and around the world that would love to adopt a child such as this. Thus we do not need either of these two horns of a dilemma. We can readily go for the sensible third option here.

    The Ukrainian government rightly recognized that. So should we.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. Of course. I see. So there is an option, for instance, to make adoption more appealing to married heterosexual couples rather than for them to opt for IVF – a practice which I find to be fraught with ethical concerns from the outset and that has very minimal success.

    From there, the discussion perhaps would fall into the practicalities (ie. wouldn’t it be easier just to adopt out to homosexual couples rather than promote adoption to heterosexuals?) but that again seems to be beside the point, which is, as I see it, intentionally placing children into an environment that is far from the ideal, ie. a married, heterosexual household, and therefor far from the child’s best interests.

    Is this somewhat on the mark?

    Mathew Hamilton, Victoria

  6. Perhaps a better word for Amanda Patel to use would have been narcissism. In this Elton John, Madonna, and Angelina Jolie have much in common, the latter pair being also gay icons who attempt to alleviate their consciences by donating to AIDS charities.

    “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.2 Timothy 3:1-5

    David Skinner, UK

  7. Dear Bill, It doesn’t surprise me in the least that the Ukrainian Government was too wise to allow Elton John to adopt one of its little orphans. After all if anyone can recognise evil when they see it they should be able to no matter how cleverly it is disguised. That country was literally swarming with orphans after Stalin’s man-made famine of 1932 and three million children starved to death most horribly. There were little bloated bodies in every village and thanks to men like Malcolm Muggeridge the world got to know but turned a blind eye. Therefore, a country which has suffered a tragedy on this scale involving its children has learnt through the bitter experience of its history that every child is precious and not to be publicly sacrificed to the whims of evil doers no matter how famous they are.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Patricia Halligan

  8. Dear Bill, while I agree with your article as a whole, I detect one fallacy among the line of thought presented here.

    You argue that a child shouldn’t be adopted by a homosexual couple because heterosexual couples provide a better home. I totally agree with that reason, but not with the argument as a whole.

    It is ridiculous to say that all orphans have that choice. Isn’t it obvious that if there were “plenty of married heterosexual couples both in the Ukraine and around the world that would love to adopt a child such as this,” as you claim, there wouldn’t be millions (15 million AIDS orphans alone if my numbers are correct) of orphans in orphanages around the world, many in horrid conditions? I’m not fully satisfied with the answer you give.

    Therefore I would repeat Mathew’s request for a study showing “the long-term impact of children who are kept in orphanages”, perhaps in comparison to those adopted by homosexual couples. Are we so sure that keeping a child in orphanages, some of which are places of abuse, neglect and hopelessness, is so much better than having them raised by a homosexual couple?

    I’m phrasing this as a question, because that’s exactly what it is. I don’t know. I don’t favor adoption rights for homosexuals because I believe the same as you – that it’s an unnatural, unhealthy and definitely un- or even anti-Christian environment that I wouldn’t wish on any child.

    At the same time to make sweeping statements about an orphan’s many options which quite frankly aren’t true can’t be the solution either. We need more information on the outcome of both situations (homosexual couple raising a child vs. “good” and “bad” orphanages) in order to judge which is better.

    Respectfully,
    Chris Freyshlag

  9. Thanks Chris

    But I am not sure how it follows that if we have a recent upsurge in orphans (partly due to the very behaviour under discussion) that we should therefore endorse same-sex adoption. That is a bit like arguing that in order to offset declining heterosexual marriage rates, we should increase homosexual marriage rates.

    A large part of the reason why heterosexual couples are finding it hard to adopt is because most countries now have lengthy, time-consuming and expensive processes in place, which in fact act as a deterrent to many.

    And as in all these cases, dealing with prevention (tackling the causes of AIDS orphans and the like) is always preferable to simply dealing with the symptoms.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. One thing that struck me with the article re: Elton John was this point: he could do a lot more good for a lot more orphans than just by adopting one of them. He’s in a privileged financial situation – as such, he can very ably provide much good that such finances can provide.

    This was then juxtaposed to Elton John’s suitability as a fatherly role model for a young child. It is one thing to donate money to an institution whose passion and purpose is to provide the best care for its children and to make adoption more accessible to married heterosexual couples; it is another thing entirely to want a child for the sheer desire of wanting a child but not being in a position to provide that individual child the best environment for it’s upbringing.

    Material things – food, clothes, shelter – only go so far. Nurturing, discipline and a healthy role-model structure go immeasurably further, I would think.

    Mathew Hamilton, Victoria

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