I’ve been following the federal same-sex marriage trial where California’s ban on same-sex marriage is being tested against the United States’ Constitution. This first week of the trial has been devoted to the testimony of the plaintiffs (those in favor of same-sex marriage), and today they had a professor testifying that his research demonstrated that children raised by same-sex couples were just as well adjusted as children raised by opposite-sex couples. He also testified that children of same-sex couples were no more likely to be gay then those of heterosexual parents.
It was however argued by the defense (those opposed to same-sex marriage) that children should be raised by their biological parents (this he demonstrated by the fact that many adopted children often searched out their biological parents), and therefore same-sex couples shouldn’t be allowed to have kids and also shouldn’t be allowed to get married. Not only does the argument not make any sense, but I was outraged by the argument’s very premise. I was so shocked by this argument that I had to read the quote from the defense lawyer from several different news sources before I was willing to believe that it had been made.
What upset me wasn’t that the ability of me and Mike to raise children was called into question, but that the defense lawyer had delegitimized the ability of any parent to raise a child that wasn’t biologically theirs.
For you to understand how upsetting this was for me you have to understand that I am adopted, and to hear this rhetoric from that lawyer was not only an insult to me but it was also an insult to my parents as well as any parent who is selfless enough to adopt a child.
From my perspective, to even suggest that an adoptive parent couldn’t properly raise a child is completely ludicrous. My life has been much improved by the fact that my parents adopted me. It wasn’t long after the time of my adoption, when I was eight years old, that my life felt natural, and that I was simply part of the family that my adopted family had brought together. I was never in want of love from my adopted family for it was given in abundance. My parents cared for me and my younger biological siblings as if we were their own alongside their biological children.
Because I was adopted I was provided with a far more stable family environment, greater opportunity, and a family culture that taught me better social skills. I might not believe in god, but I would definitely call my adoption a blessing.
If it had simply been argued that children need to be raised by both a mother and a father, I would have almost understood; this argument has been made to me before. However, that argument would deny the rights of single parents to raise children and I have known several people who were raised by single parents.
In fact, my best friend growing up had been adopted by a single woman who became his mother, and while his circumstances may not have always been ideal, I can assure you that he was grateful to be part of the family provided by his single adopted mother, and what was most important to him was that he was loved and cared for. I can also assure you that his mother found great fulfillment in raising her family.
These are far from the only examples I can think of. I know many single mothers and fathers, or people raised by single or adoptive parents, and I could not disparage their ability to raise children any more than I could disparage the ability of the defense lawyer’s “ideal” set up. And you know what? I think Mike and I have just as much capability to raise a child as anyone else.