Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Adoption - That's so Gay!
Let me preface this little diatribe by first saying that I don't have any 'gay' friends apart from the lovely one's I've never met through the blog. I have of course met one or two as casual acquaintances. I do have a few friends who have fostered and/or adopted children into defacto, single and/or married relationships. So feel free to shoot me down in flames!
On my way home tonight, I was stuck in traffic as usual, listening to a magazine show called "Hack" which was discussing the issue of gay adoption. Pricked my ears it did. Apparently, if you're a single gay, you can foster and adopt a child. If your a single heterosexual, you can foster and adopt. If you're in a relationship, you can foster but not adopt and of course Australia being conservative despite Sydney being the 'gay' capital of the Southern Hemisphere, marriage between same sex couples is also, shamefully, still not legal.
I listened to two incredible women who had fostered two children, one child is now 10 the other 8. Well adjusted, doing just fine at school, normal, much loved but the concern of these two women was that because they couldn't adopt the children as a couple, (Currently, gays and lesbians, as individuals, can adopt children, subject to the same process of screening for suitability as heterosexual men and women.)
What happens to the kids in the event that both killed/die whilst their charges are underage. The Department of Community Services (DOCS) who oversee fostering and adoption would have all power of attorney over the children despite the wishes of their 'parents' and any codicil in their Wills. What happens in terms of property settlement since both women have adopted a different child . .it's messy to say the least. The couple had recently placed Submissions before the New South Wales Parliament inquiry into same sex adoption, submissions closed on February 13, 2009.
This made me pretty angry given that recently a distraught father tossed his three year old over a bridge in Melbourne and killed her. Another mad single mother stuck her baby in a tumble dryer. Another defacto threesome tied their toddler to the hills hoist and had a drug infused party watching the child spin to her death . . .for goodness sake . . and I mean 'goodness'. We have so many ill equipped heterosexual parents with natural and adopted children who abuse, misuse, terrify, overdiscipline, underdiscipline, hate, abhor, mistreat and harm their children, why on earth is there this fear of letting same sex couples provide a home for children who are already unwanted or unable to be cared for by their birth parents.
This particular couple are currently going through court to try to change the rules. As it stands, their children are interviewed regularly by DOCS to ensure they're 'balanced' and happy. They have no issue with their same sex parents and want to be adopted by both, not just one each by one each.
Here's the anomaly . . same sex couples can have their own baby via IVF . . .same sex couples are treated equally in terms of tax, social security, ownership and defacto rules, same sex couples can foster . . .they can't marry, they can't adopt. Can someone please tell me what's wrong with this scenario?
I've been a single mother since my children were 2 and 4 years old. they had the benefit of uncles and a grandfather (I'm sure that same sex couples have parents, brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews too!). I have never met better 'adjusted' kids, they were raised in an atmosphere of love, affection, independence, creativity, warmth and discipline. They're unspoiled, issue free, comfortable in their own skin and with the way they were brought up. In fact, my son has turned out to be the most masculine, blokey, all burping, all farting, beer swilling explosives expert without the influence of a father - God knows what he'd be like with a little male encouragement.
So for goodness sakes, let some sense prevail here and if you're really concerned about the welfare of children recognised that there's a need. Let these kids be adopted by their foster parents and enjoy the security that is every child's right within a family, no matter how unconventional that family might be. Let's face it. It's 2009, the notion of the nuclear family is long gone. We now enjoy extended families, single families, blended families, inter-racial families. . there is no 'normal', no stereotypical.
Of course the Australian Christian Lobby does not believe that same sex adoption (any more than same sex marriage) is in the 'best interest of the children who as a consequence will miss out on the love and affection of both a mother and a father'. Well poo on you! My kids didn't know their father and they're none the worse for it! If anything, they're stronger, brighter, more independent, worldly, affectionate and certainly more understanding of unconventional families as they are of unconditional love. I don't care if you're three-legged, six-fingered, black blue or bohemian . . .if you're capable of providing a safe, loving and warm refuge for a child in foster care and then want to take that extra selfless step of adopting . . go for it!
There. It had to be said. Let the debate begin.