Banning adoptions by homosexuals My daughter is 9 years old. She plays basketball on Saturdays, and plays pretty well. She made three baskets last week, and several rebounds. She’s also played soccer and softball, but she likes basketball best.

My little girl is also very creative and artistic. She loves to draw pictures, paint window art and write little stories. When there is frost on the car windows, she’ll scratch a little sketch in one of them.

My daughter is also a good student. She does her homework every night at the dinner table when we get home. She made the honor roll last semester. In addition to her schoolwork, she likes to read books in her spare time. She is bright and inquisitive.

It probably sounds like I’m bragging about my kid. I am. Like every other parent I know, I’m very proud of my child and her accomplishments. Also like every other parent I know, I get very frustrated by her bouts of childish selfishness and irresponsibility, and we frequently butt heads about the cleanliness of her room, or how slow she is to get out of bed and get ready for school of a morning.

In other words, we are a typical Hoosier family, pretty much like every other loving, struggling, sometimes quarreling family I know. We are different from most in one tiny respect, however, and it is that one little difference that is the reason several Indiana legislators consider us inferior to other, more traditional, families.

In addition to me, my daughter's family includes my same-sex partner whom she considers to be her stepfather. My partner cooks, and we all clean. I mow the lawn, or shovel the snow, and we all work in the garden. We work hard to make sure the bills are paid every month. Last summer we took a family vacation to Washington, D.C. On previous trips we’ve gone skiing. We do all the things that other families do, and my child is thriving.

But there are members of the Indiana Legislature that think it ought to be illegal for people such as myself to adopt children. They argue that children should be “protected” from individuals like me, and our agenda. They claim that children are better off being reared in a family with two heterosexual parents of different genders.

They have no evidence to support their claims, only rhetoric. The truth is that there are thousands of children being raised by homosexual parents, and the majority of them (like most kids being raised by heterosexual parents) are doing quite well. My daughter is but one example.

What is good for children is to be in stable, loving homes, like the home we are providing for my daughter. What is clearly not good for them is to be bounced around the foster care system indefinitely. And for anyone to propose legislation that would keep some of these foster children from being adopted by loving parents simply because those prospective parents happen to be homosexuals is absolutely unconscionable.

There is nothing in anyone’s sexual orientation that determines whether or not one will be a good parent. If anything, the gay parents I have known are very diligent about teaching their children to accept that others can be different from us. Many people give lip-service to the idea of teaching children to look on the inside, and not at superficial differences; the gay parents I know put that into practice, and their kids are the better for it.

One other argument our critics make is that gay parents will turn children into homosexuals. That’s as ridiculous as saying that heterosexual parents turn children into heterosexuals. My parents can attest that this is not true, as can my partner’s parents, and the heterosexual parents of every other gay man and woman I know. There are studies that show that the children of homosexuals are no more likely to be homosexuals themselves than are the children of two heterosexual parents.

We don’t encourage our children to be anything other than who they are. In fact, the gay parents I know are much more likely to tell their children to be themselves in this regard than are far too many heterosexual parents. Many of us know from experience what it’s like to have parents that try to push us to be something we are not, and we don’t do that to our own children. They can be straight, gay or anything in between, based upon what they want, not what we would want for them.

The proposal before the Legislature to ban adoptions by homosexuals would tie the hands of judges, not allowing them to decide for themselves if a same-sex couple or a gay individual would make good parents. Family court judges are instructed to act in the best interests of the child, and this proposed change would limit the options available to a child’s best interests. Isn’t it better to look at individual circumstances case-by-case, rather than throwing down some irrational blanket limitation?

Traditional heterosexual couples don’t always make good parents. I know personally what it’s like to be raised in a dysfunctional family. My parents are heterosexual, and still married after 35 years, but our home was sometimes marred by abuse.

The Legislature should allow children to have the best shot at a happy home, and not limit the family options available to them.


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