Gay Rights

Legal Rights for Gay Couples to Adopt Children
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Legal Rights for Gay Couples to Adopt Children
Over the last few decades, a growing number of countries across the world have granted
legal recognition to same-sex marriages. So far, a majority of states in the United States and
about two dozen countries in Europe have established legal recognition to same-sex marriages
(Manning, Fettro & Lamidi, 2014). Recognizing same-sex unions in many countries across the
globe has led to the emergence of a new debate on whether gay couples should be accorded the
same rights as heterosexuals in adopting children. The discussion embodies the legal and moral
challenges that gay couples confront when they decide to establish families and raise children
(Manning et al., 2014). In adherent to the principle of ensuring equal rights in all aspects of the
society, gay couples should be accorded the same legal rights as heterosexuals in adopting
Typical of other civil partnerships, marriages require that the same rights accorded to one
group be granted to others (Johnson, 2017). Thus, allowing heterosexuals to adopt children
requires that the same freedom is extended to other forms of marriage that are recognized by law
including marriages by gay couples. Moreover, in most societies, marriage and the rights
inherent to it has cultural and historical significance (Johnson, 2017). The primary importance is
that it ensures the traditions of society are passed from one generation to another (Johnson,
2017). Providing legal recognition for same-sex marriages serves as a symbolic step to the effect
that gay couples can feel part of the cultural and historical traditions. Therefore, allowing gay
couples to adopt children would ensure that the principles of marriage apply equally to all groups
recognized by law as well as well as make the couple feel part of the cultural norms within which
they were brought up.
In making decisions that concern children, the primary objective should be improve
children’s welfare. To this end, the opponents of granting of granting gay couples the same rights
as heterosexuals to adopt children argue that gay couples do not place the value in marriages as
heterosexuals because they cannot procreate (Schumm, 2016). The argument stems from the
belief that marriage is an institution established primarily for the sake of procreating and raising
children. Despite the plausibility of the case, it ignores the fact that one of the essential
responsibilities of parents is to offer protection to their children (Schumm, 2016). Protecting the
children is not contingent on whether the parents are heterosexual or gay. Hence, the focus
should be on enforcing measures that ensure that parents provide to their children irrespective of
whether they are gay or heterosexual.
Children adopted by gay couples mostly come from foster homes and orphanages or from
single mothers who cannot provide for their children. The deduction from this statement is
twofold. Firstly, gay couples become parents by choice which means that they have the
motivation and incentives to be exceptional parents (Schumm, 2016). Secondly, children who
end with gay parents need protection as much as the children with heterosexual parents
(Schumm, 2016). Moreover, most of the children are from poor backgrounds which make access
to parenting, gay or heterosexual, a better alternative than their current condition. It is also
imperative to note that allowing gay parents to adopt children and subjecting them to the same
laws as heterosexuals is a mark of a society that embraces diversity and is likely to bring up
children who are tolerant and open-minded.
To sum up, it is evident that gay couples should be accorded the same rights as
heterosexual in adopting children. Recognition of gay marriages implies that the society does not
intend to discriminate on any grounds including gender or sexuality. Denial of the right to adopt
children by gay couples would be a manifest of discrimination. Additionally, decisions
concerning children should be made to improve their welfare. To this end, gay couples should be
allowed to adopt just like heterosexuals provided they all advance the interests of the children.
Finally, in light of the insufficient number of heterosexuals who children, gay couples bridge the
gap and ensure that children from foster homes and orphanages access the same opportunities in
life as children raised by heterosexuals.
Johnson, P. (2017). Are Gay Rights Human Rights? SSRN Electronic Journal, 12(4), 45-53.
Manning, W., Fettro, M., & Lamidi, E. (2014). Child Well-Being in Same-Sex Parent Families:
Review of Research Prepared for American Sociological Association Amicus Brief.
Population Research and Policy Review, 33(4), 485-502.
Schumm, W. (2016). A Review and Critique of Research on Same-Sex Parenting and Adoption.
Psychological Reports, 119(3), 641-760.

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