Monday, May 14, 2007

Rough Draft

The issue of adoption has caused much controversy in the United States. There are people who are for it and people who are against it. Each side uses many arguments to defend in what they believe.
People who believe that gay adoption is bad say that letting homosexuals adopt children is bad for the children and it harms them. According to a study done by Paul and Kirk Cameron, children in 48 out of 52 families being raised by homosexuals experience problems that include hypersexuality, instability, molestation, and domestic violence. There are also clinical reports of psychiatric disturbances of children with homosexual parents. In 1996 the U.S government did a sex survey. That survey found that the oldest lesbian was 49 years old and that the oldest gay was 54 years old. This survey shows that children raised by homosexuals are more likely to lose a parent to death at a young age. People who are against gay and lesbian adoption also say that children raised by homosexuals are worse off in school than children raised by heterosexual parents. In a study done by Sotirois Sarantakos in 1996, children of homosexuals were the least popular, they experienced the lowest level of parental involvement, and they had parents with the lowest expectations. Another reason people say that homosexual adoption is bad is because according to the Family Research Institute and the Family Research Council gay men are more likely to molest children than straight men are.
There have been many events that have happened to make it illegal for gays and lesbians to adopt children. The state of Florida has banned gay and lesbian adoption since 1977. New Hampshire also bans gay and lesbian adoption and has since 1987. In Texas and Indiana bills have also been introduced to ban gays and lesbians from adopting. Also, in the state of Nebraska homosexuals are not allowed to be foster parents since a law was passed in 1995. The states of Mississippi and Utah ban gay and lesbian couples from adopting, but since those states only lets married couples adopt, single gays and lesbians cannot adopt children either. The state of Arkansas doesn’t ban gay and lesbian adoptions specifically but they have regulations that prevent it. The states of Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, and Virginia have all introduced bills that would restrict the parenting rights of gay couples. Lastly, Conservatives in Congress are also expected to introduce a bill to ban gay and lesbian adoption in Washington D.C.
People who agree with gay and lesbian adoption have done many studies to prove that it does not harm kids. The American Psychology Association says “no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and health environments for their children.” There has also been research gathered by experts such as F.W Bozett, and R.L Barrett that says there is no difference between homosexual and heterosexual fathers in providing recreation, encouraging autonomy, maintaining disciplinary guidelines, or dealing with general problems of parenting. Other experts such as D.K Flaks and S. Golombok and done research comparing mothers and they have found that lesbian mothers function normal on interviews and psychological assessments, and their scores on standardized measures of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and parenting stress are the same as scores from heterosexual mothers. Lastly, the American Academy of Pediatrics concludes:

“A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one ore two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development appears to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.”

All of the studies done have never showed any risk whatsoever to children as a result of growing up in a family with one or more gay parents.
Gay and lesbian activists have pushed for many changes to allow homosexual adoption. The American Civil Liberties Union is preparing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on gay and lesbian adoption. The states of California, Connecticut, and Vermont have also passed pro-gay adoption laws. And the state of Pennsylvania passed a law that said gays and lesbians can adopt their partners’ children.
Also, many people are beginning to change their mind about gay adoption and realize that it doesn’t harm kids. The Child Welfare League of America says that sexual orientation does affect a person’s ability to care for a child. Also, the American Psychiatric Association has dropped homosexuality from its list of mental disorders and they agree with homosexual adoption.
Homosexual adoption has caused much disagreement within the United States. There have been many court cases and new laws to ban gays and lesbians from adopting. But now gay activists are starting to fight back. They are starting to fight back to make homosexual adoption legal in all of the states. There are many arguments to each side, but everybody needs to make their own decision about this issue.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Outline

I. Introduction
A. “It’s absurd to deny kids a loving home because both parents happen to be of the same sex,” by Lisa Bennett.
B. There are two main sides to the gay adoption issue. There are people for it and against. C. This issue has caused much controversy within the United States.

II. Body

A. Against gay adoption: events
a. Florida – bans all gay and lesbian adopting since 1977.
b. Mississippi and Utah – bans gay and lesbian couples from adopting, but only lets married couples adopt, so single gays and lesbians can’t dopt either.
c. Catholic Charities in Boston – refuses to let gays and lesbians adopt.
d. Nebraska – banned gay foster parenting in 1995.
e. Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee, and Virginia have all introduced bills that would restrict the parenting rights of gay couples.
f. Texas and Indiana have introduced bills to prohibit gays and lesbians from adoption children.
g. Arkansas has regulations that prevent gays and lesbians from becoming foster parents or adopting children.
h. Conservatives in Congress are also expected to introduce a bill to ban gays and lesbians from adopting in Washington D.C.
i. New Hampshire bans gays and lesbians from adoption since 1987.

B. Against gay adoption: harms kids
a. Psychiatric disturbance of children with homosexual parents.
b. Children in 48 out of 52 families mention problems such as hypersexuality, instability, molestation, and domestic violence.
c. Children with homosexual parents are the least popular, have the lowest level of parental involvement, and parents had lowest expectations for them.
d. Children with homosexual parents are more likely to lose a parent to death. Oldest lesbian 49, oldest gay 54.
e. Children are better off in a home with a mother and a father who are married.
f. Family Research Institute and Family Research Council say gay men are more likely to molest children

C. For gay adoption: events
a. American Civil Liberties Union is preparing a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality of Florida’s ban on gay and lesbian adoption.
b. Child Welfare League of America says that sexual orientation does affect a person’s ability to care for a child.
c. National Association of Social Workers adopted a policy that opposes discrimination against gays and lesbians.
d. American Psychiatric Association dropped homosexuality from its list of mental disorders.
e. 2003 case Lawrence v. Texas, the Supreme Court ruled that sodomy laws were unconstitutional.
f. California, Connecticut, and Vermont have passes pro-gay adoption laws.
g. In Pennsylvania a law was passed that said gays and lesbians can adopt their partners’ children.

D. For gay adoption: doesn’t harm kids
a. American Psychology Association says “no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and health environments for their children.”
b. Gays and lesbians are outsiders in a world that is hostile to them. Therefore they are suited to take care of children who need unconditional acceptance.
c. American Academy of Pediatrics concludes, “A growing body of scientific literature demonstrates that children who grow up with one ore two gay and/or lesbian parents fare as well in emotional, cognitive, social, and sexual functioning as do children whose parents are heterosexual. Children’s optimal development appears to be influenced more by the nature of the relationships and interactions within the family unit than by the particular structural form it takes.”
d. Research gathered by many (such as F.W Bozett, R.L Barrett, J.J Bigner, and J.M Bailey) show that there is no difference between homosexual and heterosexual fathers in providing recreation, encouraging autonomy, maintaining disciplinary guidelines, or dealing with general problems of parenting.
e. Research gathered by many (such as D.K Flaks, S. Golombok, and F. Tasker) show that lesbian mothers function normal on interviews and psychological assessments, and their scores on standardized measures of self-esteem, anxiety, depression, and parenting stress are the same as scores from heterosexual mothers.
f. A studied of 400 children with lesbian parents have shown there is no evidence of gender confusion.
g. No differences can be found in the toy, game, activity, dress, or friendship preferences of boys or girls with gay parents.
h. No study has showed any risk whatsoever to children as a result of growing up in a family with one ore more gay parents

E. For adoption: other facts/arguments
a. North American Council on Adoptable Children estimates that only about 36,000 kids out of 100,000 were adopted last year.
b. Gay adoption could sometimes mean a last resort for a difficult-to-adopt child who might not otherwise gain a family.
c. They alternative to gay parents might be no parents at all.
d. Letting kids get adopted by gays and lesbians would mean less need for the foster care system which would in turn save states money.
e. According to the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse 2.5-8 million gay or lesbian parents are raising 6-14 million perfectly healthy, normal children.
f. Most children in the U.S do not live with two heterosexual parents anyway. According to the 2000 census only 24% of homes are made up of a married mother and father.


III. Conclusion
a. This issue has caused much controversy in the the U.S.
b. There is no good evidence to say that children should not be raised by gays and lesbian.
c. Ask a child which is worse: being adopted into a gay or lesbian home or never being adopted and having to travel from foster home to foster home until they are 18.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Annotation # 8

All Happy Families: The Looming Battle Over Gay Parenting

This article talks about all the states that are currently trying to get laws preventing adoption and foster care by gays and lesbians. It also talks about states that already have these laws in place.

Also, in this aricle, Julian Sanchez explains that there is no evidence to support the idea that children raised by gays and lesbians are worse off than those children raised by heterosexuals. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association agrees with that statement based on their research. They say that a person's ability to raise a child has nothing to do with their sexual orientation. They also say they have not yet seen one legitamate study that has a negative finding about gays and lesbians raising children.