As documented in a CNS story dated 2/22/10, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C. will close its 80 year-old foster care and adoption program. The recent passage of a new law allowing same-sex marriage would have required the adoption program to treat different sex and opposite sex married couples equally in considering foster and adoptive parents for children, something the Catholic Church cannot do.
Proponents of same-sex marriage or its legal equivalent are constantly challenging opponents with the question "How does this affect you?" Those who are neutral about it are inclined to the "let them have their rights" attitude.
But time and again we see where this inversion of the most fundamental of all societal institutions, an institution upon which society itself is built and therefore precedes and pre-dates all societies and political orders, creates ethical dilemmas heretofore never imagined.
The current story poses one of the most glaring dilemmas. It's one thing for same-sex couples to want to share their life together. It's another thing to insert a child into that life. It's not a question as to whether same-sex couples can provide for the child. It's a question of whether or not forcing the child into a parent-child relationship with a same-sex couple is good for the child.
In short, will it be good for the child to see daddy and daddy in bed together. (What child hasn't stumbled upon an intimate moment between parents?)
Gays and lesbians make the claim that they are genetically wired towards same-sex attraction. Barring all the evidence to the contrary, let us grant them this point and ask "what about the child?" What if the child that they adopted is NOT "genetically wired" that way? How healthy is it for that child to be subjected 24-7 to a parental model that is the very antithesis of his or her physical and psychological being?
Gays will want to make the same point, that subjecting a child who may be "genetically wired" towards the same-sex, to an opposite-sex parental model, is just as unfair and unhealthy.
But in this argument, the gays and lesbians have laid their own trap. Since the entirety of their argument for gay rights as civil rights is based on something they consider to be an immutable characteristic, a gay gene, then before gays and lesbians are allowed to adopt a child, the child, out of respect for the civil rights of the child, must be first genetically tested and his or her gender identity genetic predisposition determined.
Of course, this cannot be done. There is no test because there is no gene. Gays will argue otherwise, but science has no test for a gay gene that could be used to determine the gender identity of a child.
And since the child to be adopted is the product of a man-woman relationship, whatever the defects of that relationship, the child then has a civil right to be placed in a child-parent relationship that most resembles his or her own biological origins. It is on this basis, on the rights of the child, that gay adoption, under any circumstances, must be denied.
Some may question if this affects adoption by singles. This too poses a dilemma, but again, one which is easily answered if the rights of the child are considered to be primary.
While some may not subscribe to the document, few intelligent people would argue with the basic demands of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 7 states that the "child has a right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."
In the case of an abandoned or orphaned child, the law of "being cared for by his or her parents" guides us to the next best possible solution where the child is cared for by the next of kin, something that has happened naturally for millenia.
Barring that possibility the next best situation for the child would be adoption or at least foster care by a married man and woman, again, the decision being guided by the rights of the child "to know and be cared for by his or her parents". The (married) man/woman/child model best approximates the natural family and best serves the rights of the child.
Guam Adoption Law: 19GCA Ch. 4, Article 2