Having a family is the dream of many couples and it should be within their rights. However, that is easier said than done. Even in a progressive world like the one we are living in today, having a family is still hard for some LGBTQ parents.
They may feel outcast by families, neighbors, and other members of their communities. While trying to adopt, same sex parents may have already been labeled by other people before walking through the doors of adoption agencies. This may also occur with single LGBTQ individuals. Here are misconceptions and obstacles for couples on the way to starting a family.
Obstacle – Some adoption agencies still discriminate
Some religiously-based adoption agencies openly discriminate against LGBTQ individuals. Unfortunately, some states have laws that expressly permit this. These agencies claim they have the right to discriminate based upon the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and instances like the Hobby Lobby case.
On a brighter note, there are many other adoption agencies who don’t participate in discrimination. Adoption Choices of New York is proud to say that we welcome couples and individuals of all sexual orientations and backgrounds.
Misconception – Same sex couples won’t be good parents
This is a favorite argument and stimga of those opposed to LGBTQ adoptions. It is grounded on the claim that there needs to be a clear father and mother figure in the child’s life. Couples and singles alike battle this when seeking to adopt as LGBTQ members. Nonetheless, this stigma isn’t used with heterosexual divorces, which can be traumatizing for a child. It also isn’t made with respect to single heterosexual individuals where there is only one parent figure, creating a double standard.
The more conservative individuals claim that same sex couples will not be able to provide emotionally for their children. That the child needs a distinctive male and a distinctive female figure in their life. Those individuals claim that the stress same sex couples face can be damaging to the children, but according to the UCLA School of Law, this isn’t the case. Their study showed instead that lesbian couples are more inclined to use other support methods to help with the development of their children, such as counseling or parenting groups. Thus, UCLA’s data successfully combats the degradation and stigmas against LGBTQ adoptions. Same sex couples do indeed make excellent parents.
Obstacle – Children of same sex couples are stigmatized
A parent’s sexual orientation does not harm children. It is the negative reactions from others that does, and damages both the child’s emotional and mental growth. Children of same sex couples should not be embarrassed about their parent’s sexuality. Instead, they should embrace it as part of their own identity. Same sex parents should talk openly with the children about sexual orientation, discrimination and how to handle it. An open dialogue and supportive parent(s) can go a long way to reducing the effects of any discrimination children of same sex parents may experience.
Misconception – Kids raised under same sex parents will not thrive
A stigma against LGBTQ adoptions suggests that being raised by same sex parents is harmful to children — psychologically, physically, or socially. This is not true. Studies actually show that children of same sex couples experience similar results to those raised by heterosexual couples. In other words, they thrive and lead healthy, balanced lives.
In order to raise happy children, all that’s required is love, acceptance, and security. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with this.
The American Sociological Association stated that with a firm family structure and supportive parents, children of same sex and heterosexual parents rate similarly. This was true in the areas including: academic performance, cognitive development, social development, psychological health, early sexual activity, and substance abuse. A study done by the BMC Public Health also revealed that children raised by same sex parents had high scores in general performance, health, and family coherence. The data is not enough to prove which style of parenting is better, but this does show that there are no negative impacts of having same sex parents.
Adoption Choices of New York
Adoption Choices of New York treats everyone like family. We do not tolerate any discrimination of any type from any of our staff, contractors or vendors. Our doors are always open to all members of the LGBTQ community (individuals and couples) and will be here to help and support you through every step of the adoption process.
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Lisa Truong is an undergraduate journalism major at the University of Denver. She is minoring in writing and Chemistry. She has been commended by professors for her news stories as well as creative writing.
During her freshman year, her essay “See Ya on the Other Side” was displayed at a writing exhibition sponsored by the University of Denver. That essay later went on to be published in Many Voices One DU, a book also sponsored by the university.
Lisa frequently volunteers to be a leader at the Daniels School of Business for their quarterly Ethics Boot Camp where students learn about the importance of character in business. In her free time, Lisa enjoys watching animated movies with her mother, listening to music, going for bike rides, and eating breakfast food.
Rapaport, Lisa. “Gay Fathers Face Stigma as Parents.” Reuters. January 15, 2019. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-lgbt-gay-dads/gay-fathers-face-stigma-as-parents-idUSKCN1P92TS.
Simon R Crouch, Elizabeth Waters, Ruth McNair, Jennifer Power, and Elise Davis. “Parent-reported Measures of Child Health and Wellbeing in Same-sex Parent Families: A Cross-sectional Survey.” BMC Public Health. June 21, 2014. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-2458-14-635.
Stern, Mark Joseph, and Mark Joseph Stern. “The Trump Administration Will Let Adoption Agencies Turn Away Jews and Same-Sex Couples. Thank SCOTUS.” Slate Magazine. January 24, 2019.
“The Conservative Argument Against Same-Sex Parenting Just Fell Apart.” ThinkProgress. https://thinkprogress.org/the-conservative-argument-against-same-sex-parenting-just-fell-apart-134776373c61/.