Saturday, March 11, 2006

Cruelty to Children & "Gay" Adoptions

As an adoptive parent, I've been watching the Catholic Charities/"gay" adoptions story closely. The other issue here -- besides religious freedom -- that everyone on our side is skirting around is cruelty to children.

How appalling that the angle the Boston Globe is playing is that it's cruelty on the part of the Catholic Church (!!!) to disband their adoption operations. They even interview the president of the Mass. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, who says the Catholic action "is a tragedy for kids."

No, it is cruelty to adopted children -- ALL of whom are special-needs children -- to place them in unstable, unnatural households! The Vatican is right: It is "gravely immoral." We just wish the church or Archbishop would expand on this concept a little, instead of leaving things unsaid.

As recently as 20 years ago, potential adoptive parents were carefully screened by even secular adoption agencies for marital stability and spiritual grounding (i.e., were traditional values upheld in the home?). Many other precautions were taken to ensure the child would have a secure, supportive home. The agencies knew then that parenting adopted children is much more demanding than parenting biological children. I didn't want to accept that wisdom at the time, and found the "home study" process intrusive and offensive. But now with hindsight, after bringing up both biological and adopted children, I respect the wisdom of that process.

Things certainly have changed. First, the door was opened to previously divorced parents. Then single parents were allowed to adopt. Then, homosexual couples.

The profound sense of loss adopted children carry (many knowing nothing or little of their biological parent(s), all of them feeling abandoned), plus the lasting effects of disruption in their sensitive early years, and their unpredictable health and developmental problems -- all this requires tremendous commitment, understanding, and stability on the part of the adoptive parent couple. It's a well-known fact that disproportionate percentages of adopted persons seek psychological and psychiatric help, and have other disabilities. Throw in the monkey wrench of abnormal ("gay"-parented) households and higher than average "marital" instability, and it's hard to imagine these children will have the support they need.

It's well established that lesbian and homosexual male couples are less stable. Breakups come more frequently and sooner. Partner abuse, promiscuity and infidelity are much more common than with married heterosexual couples. What transpires in the privacy of many of those homes cannot be pretty. How irresponsible on the part of adoption agencies to place children in such homes without research backing up the safety of such placements.

Only recently has the truth been exposed about the profoundly negative impact of heterosexual divorce on children. How much worse if you add another layer of complexity and abnormality for especially needy children: two parents of the same sex?

Archbishop O'Malley has withdrawn from the fray, deciding to halt adoption work by the Catholic Charities rather than fight in court for a religious exemption to the non-discrimination requirement.

On this church vs. state authority issue, C. J. Doyle of the Catholic Action League of Massachusetts got it right: "It's a defeat for religious freedom. Not only does the church and society suffer, but the church is allowing itself to be marginalized."