Evan B. Donaldson Institute: Adoption by Gay Families Benefits Children

The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute recently conducted what it calls "one of the broadest, most thorough reviews and analyses to date on gay/lesbian adoption and parenting." They report four principle findings:
  • Against a backdrop of increasing public acceptance, social science research concludes that children reared by gay and lesbian parents fare comparably to those of children raised by heterosexuals on a range of measures of social and psychological adjustment.
  • Studies are increasing in number and rigor, but the body of research on gay/lesbian parents is relatively small and has methodological limitations. Still, virtually every valid study reaches the same conclusion: The children of gays and lesbians adjust positively and their families function well. The limited research on gay/lesbian adoption points in the same direction.
  • Though few states have laws or policies explicitly barring homosexuals from adopting, some individual agencies and workers outside those states discriminate against gay and lesbian applicants based on their own biases or on mistaken beliefs that such prohibitions exist.
  • Laws and policies that preclude adoption by gay or lesbian parents disadvantage the tens of thousands of children mired in the foster care system who need permanent, loving homes.
What often gets left out of this debate is that the civil unions and marriage ban would do far more than harm gay couples in this state; it would harm children too, who will be barred from the protections and security of two legal parents. This study additionally helps us see that, if the ban discourages gay couples from adopting, it will harm Wisconsin children waiting to be placed in secure, loving homes.


Here, with links to their statements on the LetHimStay.com resource page, are other organizations that have taken similar stands in favor of allowing gay families to adopt:

Child Welfare League of America
North American Council on Adoptable Children
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Psychiatric Association
American Psychological Association
National Association of Social Workers.

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At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A thought I've had for a while now: Has anyone made the argument that children of same-sex couples aren't being given equal protection under the law because of their parents?

I don't have kids, and don't plan to, but feel that legal protection for children with same-sex parents is more important than protections for myself.

At 9:45 AM, Blogger Paul said...

A point against homosexuality that conservatives try to make is that it will somehow negatively affect children. Yet the studies are quite clear that children raised by gay parents are healthy and happy. Children need parents who love and support them. There are so many children in the US and abroad who have no one, so why are conservatives so afraid of gay adoptions?

And clearly, banning gay marriage and civil unions will do NOTHING to help the children, but EVERYTHING to hurt them.



At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Paul. Exactly my point.

Maybe I'm just a crazy liberal, but it seems much more practical, humane and--dare I say--Christian to make sure all children are protected no matter who is raising them than it is to stick one's head in the sand and say "gays and lesbians shouldn't be parents because I don't like it."

At 11:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The point about focusing on children is vital. I teach at a public school. All children, when registering, must have their parent/guardian designate who the primary parental contact is and the secondary contact and so on. (Yes, even with heterosexual couples, one parent must be designated as first contact).

The way I understand the second line of the proposed amendment, if a child has same gender parents, then to list one as primary parental contact and the other as secondary parental contact would be a violation of the amendment, as it would be taking equivalent status to marriage or civil union. This means that we would have some children at risk of not having contact possible if the primary parental contact (the only one if this amendment passes) is not available for some reason. So, if I'm worried that one of my students' behavior or grades are changing, then I can't talk to one of that students' real parents.

How dare these people go after my students!


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