Issues - gender bias - Could your children be given
to Gay parents
In the debate over gay marriage, strikingly little attention
has been paid to the impact on children. Some question the
wisdom of having children raised by two homosexuals, but the
best they can seem to argue is that serious flaws vitiate
the literature defending it.
Almost no attention has been devoted to what may be the more
serious political question of who will supply the children
of gay "parents," since obviously they cannot produce
children themselves. A few will come from sperm donors and
surrogate mothers, but very few. The vast majority will come,
because they already do come, from pre-existing heterosexual
families. In Massachusetts, "Forty percent of the children
adopted have gone to gay and lesbian families," according
to Democratic state Sen. Therese Murphy.
Sen. Murphy seems totally oblivious to the implications. "Will
you deny them their rights?" she asks. With some 3 percent
of the population, gay couples already seem to enjoy a marked
advantage over straight ones in the allocation of supposedly
But whose rights are being denied depends on how deeply we
probe and what questions we ask. Granting gay couples the
"right" to have children by definition means giving
them the right to have someone else's children, and the question
arises whether the original parent or parents ever agreed
to part with them.
Not necessarily. Governments that kind-heartedly bestow other
people's children on homosexual couples also have both the
power and the motivation to confiscate those children from
their original parents, even when the parents have done nothing
to warrant losing them.
Sen. Murphy formulaically asks us to take pity on "children
who have been neglected, abandoned, abused by their own families."
But this is far from the whole picture.
Ever since the federal government became involved in the child-abuse
business some 30 years ago, governments nationwide have had
the means and the incentive to seize children from their parents
with no due process finding that the parents have actually
abused their children. The 1974 Child Abuse Prevention and
Treatment Act (CAPTA, also known as the Mondale Act) provides
generous financial incentives to states to remove people's
children under the guise of protecting them. In the aftermath
of CAPTA, the foster-care rolls exploded, as children were
torn from their parents and federal funds poured into state
coffers and foster-care providers. According to the Child
Welfare League of America, "There were many instances
then, as now, of children being removed unnecessarily from
families." Many foster homes were far more abusive than
the families from which the children had been removed.
But the federal government, ever ready to create a new program
to address the problems created by its existing programs,
had a solution. The 1997 Adoption and Safe Families Act provided
more federal money to transfer children from foster care into
adoption, enlarging the client base of stakeholders with a
vested financial interest in available children. Gay marriage
expands this client base still further.
Among the states that have taken fullest advantage of this
gravy train is Massachusetts. A typical case is that of Neil
and Heidi Howard, whose children were seized by the state's
Department of Social Services (DSS) with no charge of abuse
against either parent and no evidentiary hearing. DSS tried
to put the children up for adoption and were prevented only
by lengthy court proceedings and extensive publicity in the
Massachusetts News. Other families are not so fortunate.
This traffic in children has been in full flow since well
before gay marriage. Belchertown attorney Gregory Hession
alleges a "child protection racket" rife with "baby
stealing and baby selling." Hession describes courts
where the hallways are clogged with parents and children being
adopted. "You could hardly walk. You had never seen such
mass adoptions before." Reporter Nev Moore of the News
describes the auction blocks for children operated by DSS:
If you prefer to actually be able to kick tires instead of
just looking at pictures you could attend one of DSS's quaint
"Adoption Fairs," where live children are put on
display and you can walk around and browse. Like a flea market
to sell kids. If one of them begs you to take him home you
can always say, "Sorry. Just looking."
This is the bureaucratic milieu – largely hidden from
all but those who must endure it – into which gay marriage
advocates want to inject millions of new couples in search
of children to adopt.
The number of truly abused children cannot begin to fill this
demand without government help. We know that statistically
child abuse in intact two-parent families is rare, and two-thirds
of reports are never substantiated. Yet even in those instances
of confirmed abuse, a little digging reveals the pernicious
hand of the government generating business (and children)
Child abuse is overwhelmingly a phenomenon of single-parent
homes. Government and feminist propaganda suggest that single-parent
homes result from paternal abandonment. In fact, they are
usually created by family court judges, who have close ties
to the social service agencies that need children. By forcibly
removing fathers from the home through unilateral or "no-fault"
divorce, family courts create the environment most conducive
to child abuse and initiate the process that leads to removal
of the children from the mother, foster care, and adoption.
Gay adoption is simply the logical culmination in the process
of turning children into political instruments for government
What this demonstrates is that same-sex marriage cannot be
effectively challenged in isolation. Opponents must bite the
bullet and confront the two evils that pose a far more serious
and direct threat to the family than gay marriage: the child
protection gestapo and the even more formidable "no-fault"
Failure to grasp this nettle will leave social conservatives
exposed to ever more contempt from a public that is crying
out for leadership to rescue the family but which has been
led to view social conservatives, however unjustly, as puritanical
bigots who want to deny equal rights to homosexuals –
rights that entail powers of totalitarian dimensions, undreamed
of before the sexual revolution.
Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D., is Charlotte and Walter Kohler
Fellow at the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society
and president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children.
The views expressed are his own.