Human Rights, as they relate to adoption, family, and children

The more I see articles presenting the arguments for and/or against gay (LGBT) adoption, the more I get annoyed by this mythical notion clouding the minds of the masses, suggesting all people have "the right" to adopt a child.  A human right to adopt?  Can we please get serious?   [This mythical thinking reminds me of the comical illusion created (and perpetuated) by the adoption industry, suggesting adoption is a triad-experience.  Anyone touched torched by adoption knows complex adoption issues can not be broken-down to a simple easy-to-read three-sided adoption story.... there's too much tricky human math involved...making the adoption experience a convoluted complicated mess. ]  So what is this new Right to Adopt issue all about?  Is this issue about the right to purchase, without discrimination or who has the legal right to have a family with young children?  Or is the real issue a completely different animal, cloaked in BS PC bureaucracy?  I have to say, the way I see it, this new breed of malcontents, marching and petitioning, claiming they have a right to do something, reminds me of the old-school complaint given by young sexually active women back in the 1960's -- women claiming they have should have reproductive rights... they should have The Right to Choose.

So allow me to make my own pro-choice convictions clear.   I don't believe any one person has more of a legal right to adopt than another simply because I don't believe any person has the human right  to adopt (purchase a child), period.  However, knowing each child born is born into a family, I do strongly believe each person has the human right to have contact with original family members, and that right should not be denied by government rule.  Of course, this belief-system mocks American adoption laws and goes against many standards seen in international adoption practice.  You see, in a more pro-choice friendly Adoptionland, Closed Adoption would be a real deal-breaker and Open Records would be a real simple automatic legal given.  Unfortunately, such is not the universal rule.

There is more.  Thanks to the many things I have learned through PPL, I have drawn a new conclusion...one that differs from the one I held strongly in my younger days...the days that had me thinking all AP's are closet nut-jobs with serious unresolved personal parent/family issues and all adoptions are wrong.  When it comes to 'the right to have a family', I will even go so far as to publicly state I believe a non-pedophile person should have the right to choose if he/she will become a parent, (and have children), and if one of the ways and means to create that family with children includes adoption, then that option should be made available, regardless of color, sex, creed.  However, it's important to note, when it comes to the rights of children, and who should have them through adoption, I'd like all pedophiles (and some who are mentally ill) to be excluded.  After all, when it comes to who should be allowed to adopt, (or be adopted), and future family wellness and child safety, I think discrimination (skimming out and removing from the pool) is good.

So... advocate "a right to adopt", because as Australian lawmakers say,  “This is about morality and this is about the rights of children.”?  Um... no way.... you still have the rights and orders wrong.  Try again, all ye new and old adoption law-makers playing God with children's lives.  (Yup, that's my personal Pound Pup opinion, based on case-review.)

I'd like others to share their thoughts and opinions on human right issues, as they relate to adoption and family.  What are some of the rights, and what are some of the wrongs?  When it comes to future child safety and well-being, what should people and government be doing (or not doing)?

7
Average: 7 (1 vote)

The right to adopt

You raise some interesting questions, because so much of what goes on in adoptionland, relates to rights, but the rights of the ones adoption revolves around are hard to define. I am talking about children's rights.

Children's rights is a complicated issue, because children themselves cannot define or stand-up for their rights. The Civil Rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's was largely carried by African American activists, the women's liberation movement was largely carried by female activists, worker's rights were largely promoted through labour unions. In all these cases the ones fighting for rights were the beneficiaries of those rights.

With children's rights there is no direct relationship between activists and beneficiaries, unless activists for children's rights in reality promote their own agenda under the pretext of children's rights. Such an adult-agenda driven approach to children's rights can be seen on the website of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, Joint Council on International Children's Services, and the work of Elizabeth Bartholet.

So far most of the children's rights literature in relation to adoption has been written by those being employed in adoptionland, and its central tenet seems to be: the right of a child to be adopted (the right to be part of a family, narrowed down to adoption).

Given the source of such literature, it's no wonder that there is no mention of the right to safety in placement, or the right to be safe from predation by child placement agencies (harvesting/wrongful removal).

The notion of the right to adopt is very much related to this industry driven appeal to children's rights. After all the customers of adoption agencies and adoption attorneys are prospective adopters. As a result, there is a search for children, prospective adopters can legally claim. If children were the clients of adoption agencies and adoption attorneys, there would be no discussion about the right to adopt, instead attempts would be made to find the best suitable family for a child. The question of the right to adopt is really a side effect of a business model that works the wrong way around. If the child's best interest was really central there would be no notion of the right to adopt.

John Raible has an

John Raible has an interesting blog post on this. He is a transracial adoptee, an adoptive parent, and a gay man.

http://johnraible.wordpress.com/how-to-fix-adoption-first-respect-adult-adoptees/lgbt-parents-transracial-adoption/

 

Between the lines

Read the blog... not sure where you're going with it relating to ignored human/child's rights (and their associated issues) in Adoptionland, but I did find the following comment true and very accurate:

In observing in the last decade or so increasing numbers of queer folk stepping forward to adopt, it has been interesting to listen to how they talk about the transracial adoption option. It has also been interesting to watch how some agencies have welcomed the emerging visibility of lesbian and gay parents as an untapped potential market.  [LGBT parents & transracial adoption ]

An untapped potential market.  <CHA-CHING!> Gee, what a surprise!

<rolling eyes>

Removing discrimination from legislation

I disagree with this issue being presented in the media as gay and lesbian adults having a right to adopt. What the changes to law in New South Wales will see is simply the removal of discriminatory clauses in legislation that currently prevent gay and lesbian families from adopting, whether they hope to adopt an unrelated child or whether one parent wants to adopt the biological child of their partner. It doesn't give gay applicants, or anyone else, any "right to adopt".

Currently, gay and lesbian singles and couples are considered appropriate to foster children in Australia but in all states except WA and the ACT, those same applicants could never adopt children in their care - no matter how many years the children had been with them or whether it would be in the best interests of those individual children to be adopted by their long term carers. 

I was present, along with my lesbian daughter, in the ACT Legislative Assembly for the debate and to witness the law change, and I was particularly pleased when one of the ministers read aloud a letter I'd written on the topic. Before the legislation changed in the ACT, anyone could apply to be assessed as suitable to adopt EXCEPT gay and lesbian couples. The religious lobby were also present in the Legislative Assembly that day, and they had held protests in the city streets in the weeks leading up to this debate.  Their position was then, as it has recently been in NSW, that "a child deserves a mother and a father" - and therefore children's interests are not served by allowing gay and lesbian families to adopt in any circumstances.  Yet, not one of these religious groups or individuals had raised any objections when, seven years earlier, our new Adoption Act allowed single applicants to adopt!

Since 1998, a single person could apply to adopt but the ACT Adoption Act stated that a couple had to be in a heterosexual relationship.  No other characteristic specifically excluded anyone from applying to adopt except homosexuality.  I argued then that anyone should be able to apply to be assessed as to their suitability to adopt - and that adoption authorities were well able to make a decision as to suitability based on a range of factors. An applicant's age, criminal history, physical and mental health, emotional stability, and a load of other factors are considered and weighed when considering suitability - yet sexual orientation was the only factor singled out under legislation that automatically precluded anyone from adopting.

Thanks for the clarification

Currently, gay and lesbian singles and couples are considered appropriate to foster children in Australia but in all states except WA and the ACT, those same applicants could never adopt children in their care - no matter how many years the children had been with them or whether it would be in the best interests of those individual children to be adopted by their long term carers. 

Yes, tis far better to have a child adopted by a ("more moral"?) married couple, where one or both partners are closet pedophiles or radical religious extremists who practice with rods and paddles and preach about pleasing God.  Crazy, isn't it?

It's interesting to note, we have 2 (two) cases of abuse by a gay couple ( Lombard / Shipp and  Wathey / Faunch)  versus 400+ cases of singles and married couples.

Go figure the logic behind those holy-rolling law-makers who claim to worry about the future well-being (spelled: morality) of children.

 

The Pursuit Of Other People's Children

It doesn't give gay applicants, or anyone else, any "right to adopt".

We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Other People's Children.

Of course there is no right to adopt, regardless how entitled some applicants may feel.  If it were so, there would be no "application" process at all.  Where does one actually apply for unalienable rights?  I would like to know.

The premise that adoption is an actual right that needs to be amended is often put forth by those who wish to abolish adoption entirely.  It's usually accompanied by a whole army of straw men ready to do battle.

After we adopted our (white) son from foster care in 1995, we inquired about the availability of his (black) foster sister for adoption.  Just like my son, the parental rights had already been terminated by the state and she was "legally free" for adoption.  We were quickly discouraged, however, by her caseworker on the basis that we were white, lived in a predominantly white neighborhood, with predominantly white schools, etc.  Her (black) foster mother wrote a letter to her caseworker endorsing our application, but to no avail.  Jacquelyn remained in foster care another three years before she was ultimately adopted by a transracial couple upstate.

While I can understand and actually appreciate the arguments that children should be adopted into families similar to their own, in the case of minority foster children that position usually translated into extended stays in foster care.  For many of these foster children, the question then became a family similar to their own...  or no family at all.

Julia, I see gay and lesbian parents in much the same predicament as we were trying to adopt outside our ethnic circle.  How should the state (Australia) handle which children to place with gay and lesbian couples?  Do we include the transgendered in the discussion?  Are the foster children older than average?  If so, do they have a voice in their own placement?

Dad

 

 

 

Like with like

How should the state (Australia) handle which children to place with gay and lesbian couples? Do we include the transgendered in the discussion?  Are the foster children older than average?  If so, do they have a voice in their own placement?

Ah, the ol' "who gets what" question both adoptees and adopters face.  Another way to read it is:  Do we make it easy and give the undesirable to the undesirable?  Do we keep like with like?  What's best when we have so many seemingly unadoptable (undesirable) children eating tax dollars?  Do we give the little costly bastards away, (at rock bottom prices, with all sorts of tax-break incentives) and pray for the best?  What is a paid child placer to do?

I'm glad you ended it with "do they have a voice in their own placement?"

I wish adoptees had a voice placement.  Knowing what I know about my ideal and perfect looking Afamily, I would have gone kicking and screaming... hoping SOMEONE would have had a modicum of mercy, and not place me in that home.  Problem is, it seems most people prefer to adopt infants, and infants have no voice, other than cries that can mean a variety of different things.

I offer my voice now, hoping some will listen.

It's hard enough to be adopted.  The feelings of rejection, abandonment and undesirability run deep and thick.  Please take a moment, and try to imagine what it's like to be adopted by an undesirable in society. Keep in mind what an 'undesirable' may (or may not) look like. 'Undesirable' has no specific gender, marital status, religion, or skin color.  Undesirable, from the eyes of a child can be anyone.  For instance, despite the house she co-owned, the car she sometimes drove, and the clothes she typically wore, my Amother was an undesirable.  She was married, educated and came from wealth.  She was a Good Catholic... a teacher, to boot.  We shared similar coloring, as if that would soften the blow.  On paper, and in public appearance, she seemed like the picture-perfect wife, friend, and mother.  Upon closer look, she adopted for all the wrong egotistical self-serving reasons.... and she got away with it, thanks to the limited interests held by an adoption agency. A lot of good that adoption choice did me and my sense of self-worth. 

What's a 'desirable parent' in my book?  One who has patience, compassionate understanding, and a healthy dose of empathy. One who isn't so self-centered he/she is afraid to put a child's needs, first.   One who accepts and adapts to troubled times and one who, if necessary, is willing to go for the proverbial jugular if another person proves to be a child predator.   It should never be assumed all PAP's are desirable, especially through the eyes of an adoptable child.  The adoption industry needs to improve its practice... it needs to focus less on the profiting sale and work harder matching desired children with desirable parent-figures. 

From one who's been there

While I can understand and actually appreciate the arguments that children should be adopted into families similar to their own, in the case of minority foster children that position usually translated into extended stays in foster care.  For many of these foster children, the question then became a family similar to their own...  or no family at all.

"Family" is overrated. So are "parents". A lot of times, family and parents can be damaging, and deadly. There is nothing special or novel about families.

From one who's been there...the all white neighborhoods, the all white schools, public and private, hm, let's see...Nice white colorblind parents who don't know crudcrap about Black-anything, or bounced around foster care for years, likely with people who do. Interracial gay/trans/nontraditional couple that'll get the kid taunted with the same old epithets they'd get taunted with anyway, yr momz a fag, yr dad's a n----. ..or abusive Black parents in that situation or nice white parents, still immersed in a hostile sea of whiteness.

What do people think made/make parents like mine so "suitable" in the first place but their class aspirations?

False dilemma to all those situations. Sorry but a Black kid needs parents who understand what it is to grow up Black in a hostile, impacted white supremacist society, and how to impart to children effective ways to navigate it. Some days, I think even I would make a better parent to a Black kid than one of these hand-sanitizer/timeout/attachment shit parenting types.

Same for "transracial", "mixed", multiracial, whatever.

We are going to have an entire generation of sociopaths running the country thanks to their crappy "the word 'no' will damage the child" parenting.

Not rights to adopt but rights to equal treatment

First, there are plenty of gay couples who already have children from other unions that they'd like their partners to be able to adopt.

That said, the main struggle of gay couples is the perception that they are inferior couples to heterosexuals. I see this idea creeping into discussions on whether gays should be "allowed" to adopt or not, usually couched as concern for children, or some concern for inflating the adoption racket.

Gay marriage, gay adoption, oh that's bad for the children. lol

Anybody even remotely familiar with PPL knows this cannot possibly be the case blanket, across the board as it's so often applied, given that ALL of the couples involved with abuse of children in care listed on PPL are heterosexual. ALL of them. Typically: heterosexual, white, christian, conservative.

Yet, we see no outcry that heterosexual conservative white christians make crappy parents that should not be able to adopt, even though so many of them routinely beat, starve, maim, and kill their children, outright.

And heaven forbid one of their children turn out to be one of the queers. The white christian bigots certainly don't have a monopoly on abuse in those cases, ask me how I know.

Isn't it strange, the same dumb bigots clamoring for sealed records, crying for the overturning of Roe v Wade, trying to keep the government's nose in everyone's bedrooms are also the ones forbidding or like the Texas GOP criminalizing homosexuality, outright. I made a couple posts about their star witness, George Rekers, who -- guess what...no really go on guess -- messes around with young men himself.

No longer able to legally discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities like they've done since bumping into Roanoke, they always look for someone else to take out their legendary aggressions on.

For a different take on the marriage issue, and one closer to my own thoughts on it, try Against Equality http://againstequality.org, which critiques the entire idea of equality within flawed institutions like marriage. They see it, as I often do, as wanting to board a sinking ship. I hope they will soon take up "gay adoption".

Those are actually old ideas, there. It's only been in the past 5+ years or so that so-called "gay marriage"  and  subsequently "gay adoption" has even become a serious issue for The Gays. True to form, another closet case, Ken Mehlman, was one of the main architects of the GOP putting antigay measures on state ballots to get the Bigot American vote to the polls, knowing The Gays would make a fuss and the hayseeds would get their undies in a pinch about it.

It worked for a while, but has backfired, especially since economic issues are more on people's minds now than what kind of sex the neighbors are having, or thinking about having. Ken came screaming out of the closet last month, promising to make amends. All I can do is roll my eyes.

almost all

Anybody even remotely familiar with PPL knows this cannot possibly be the case blanket, across the board as it's so often applied, given that ALL of the couples involved with abuse of children in care listed on PPL are heterosexual. ALL of them. Typically: heterosexual, white, christian, conservative.

You are almost correct on this one. Out of 450+ cases there are 2 cases involving a gay couple:

The most iconic case of hypocracy in relation to gay adoption is the one of the girl adopted by Earl "Butch" Kimmerling and Saundra Kimmerling. Earl Kimmerling fought the adoption of a girl by a gay single man, through the powers of his church and the printed media. Eventually the girl ended up being adopted by the Kimmerling's. Not a year later Earl Kimmerling was arrested for the sexual abuse of the girl.

While it is certainly true a significant subset of cases involves your stereotypical white fundamentalist christian couples (though black fundies don't seem to do much better), there are also other patterns along other stereotypical lines. Single men tend to engage more in sexual abuse, while single women tend to enage more in beating infants to death.

Also

We don't always know the household family situation of many children, unless it was documented in the paper. In some cases, the child may have been abused by a one person of an unmarried gay couple, only 1 of which is the foster or adoptive parent, so the parent was tagged as single. Gay marriage is still realatively new in the US, and both partners of a gay couple adopting one child is problematic in many places (I don't know all the state rules).

I don't know that we have the data to say if gay couples (married or unmarried) are more or less likely to abuse their adopted or foster children than heterosexual couples.

We know it does happen. We know all types of families can be abusers. We know pedophiles come in all colors, genders, religions, etc.

In addition... (more mixed messages)

We don't always know the household family situation of many children, unless it was documented in the paper.

True...of all the cases we collected, we know two things for certain --  1)  The child was abused, and 2) The child was either adopted or in foster care. For some cases, we found articles that give a lot of back-ground information, telling us the make-up of the family, whether they engaged in home-schooling, what church they belonged to, etc.. Other cases had very little information reported, so our understanding of the circumstances behind the abuse remains limited.

We can only add what is being reported. As a result, we will miss out on several abuse cases simply because the adopted or fostered status of the child is not mentioned in the news reporting.  Makes me wonder... how many MORE pages would we be able to add, if foster care/adoption did have a role in the case, but never got mentioned? 

We know all types of families can be abusers. We know pedophiles come in all colors, genders, religions, etc.

I think too many people associate pedophilia with homosexuality, as if they are one in the same.  They are not.  The big concerning problem I have with pedophiles is the way in which they 'recruit' partners for themselves.  It's almost as if pedophiles believe sexual preference can be taught, (and accepted as desirable), through exposure and experience.   Contrary to the practicing homosexual, the pedophile seeks sex with a child... and will do or say just about anything to get the prize.

Unlike children preyed upon pedophile priests/members of the clergy, children preyed upon by parent-figures endure an added sex taboo to digest -- incest.  For the adoptee, incest is a tricky confusing word/concept... is sex with a parent/sibling really incest if that parent/sibling isn't really my parent/sibling?  Or is a cigar just a cigar? 

As if good ol' fashioned plain vanilla sex isn't confusing enough.

Most of the sexually abused adoptees I know were abused by their Afather.  In almost all cases where there were adopted and biologic children in the family, it was the adopted child who got raped/molested.  [In some cases, the father-figure was an equal-opportunity predator, molesting both the biologic children AND then adopted children, but I do not recall one example where the father molested the biologic children, but NOT the fostered/adopted.  However, that's not to say such a creep does not exist.]   What surprised me was the various different ways in which these "loving husbands and fathers" approached sex with their adopted children.  In some cases, they acted as if they were doing the child a favor ("I'm giving you valuable sex lessons").  In other cases, the fathers acted as if they were owed something ("She doesn't know how to satisfy me"). Still others acted as if the child was his soul-mate ("We belong together").   For better or worse, many fathers lost interest once the child developed breasts, creating even more confusion for the victim used for sex and love. 

Given the choice, I'd rather be adopted by two adults who keep sex between themselves, behind closed doors than two adults living a lie and separate sex lives.

This is central to ex-gay and gay conversion methods

The big concerning problem I have with pedophiles is the way in which they 'recruit' partners for themselves.  It's almost as if pedophiles believe sexual preference can be taught, (and accepted as desirable), through exposure and experience.

Aversion therapy, too. Holding therapy, attachment parenting, anti-RAD treatment, etc...

All of it is adults imposing their will -- usually physical -- on children and in many cases, adults.

But no, the fundofascists will tell you, it's the homos that recruit the children. Meanwhile, the Pope walks free even as he aids and shelters known buggerers of boys

Talk about projection...

We don't, but we will

I don't know that we have the data to say if gay couples (married or unmarried) are more or less likely to abuse their adopted or foster children than heterosexual couples.

And yet, this is the stereotype, and the reason given why gay marriage/gay adoption is supposedly "bad for the children". As gay marriage becomes the norm, the files of PPL will also pile up with cases with gay couples; I've no doubt about it. I do find it interesting that there aren't more. With all the presumptions of gay abusers one would think there would be news story after news story about it, if anything, because it sells.

It's the reason my single straight peers would supposedly make "better" parents than me, who isn't so straight and has no intent on trying to be. In reality, I could not care less as I do not intend to perpetrate parenthood in any of its forms, any more than I want to jump in a boat and run over to other parts of the world to kill people for a post don't ask don't tell military. But if the stork ever drops a baby on my doorstep I'd be inclined to care for the poor bastard, seeing as I am one myself. IOW I don't want to now, but I can't rule out ever wanting to.

Ironically, my history as an abused adopted person would be another strike in the eyes of the same state that seals my own birth records, but it would not be the main one. This is where the rights to equality comes in. There is NO reasoning behind it except straight-up supremacy arguments, the language of which, in my view, is directly out of our eugenics history.

One thing, though: nonwhite and nontraditional couples are watched like hawks, and not just by the state. We are held to higher and different standards than the norm, meaning people of the majority complete with their unearned social and economic privileges. It's part of being a numerical minority in societies that privilege majorities (which would really be all of 'em.) This is just the thing that allows PPL to be populated with, well, the norm. All eyes on the queers. Let the nice white christian parents alone....they never do anything to anybody!

SMH

You are almost correct on this one. Out of 450+ cases there are 2 cases involving a gay couple:

The most iconic case of hypocracy in relation to gay adoption is the one of the girl adopted by Earl "Butch" Kimmerling and Saundra Kimmerling. Earl Kimmerling fought the adoption of a girl by a gay single man, through the powers of his church and the printed media. Eventually the girl ended up being adopted by the Kimmerling's. Not a year later Earl Kimmerling was arrested for the sexual abuse of the girl.

 

Haha a heterosexual child molester calling himself "Butch"  hahahaha

Cripes, some stuff you just can't make up.

Pound Pup Legacy