The Jolie Pitts

The Jolie Pitts

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Overturning a Ban on Unmarried Adoptions

On Friday a judge in Arkansas overturned a decision to ban unmarried couples right to adopt children. Judge Piazza stated that the ban "cast an unreasonably large net" on many potentially good families that could offer healthy homes for the roughly 1500 children waiting for adoption in the state, and as a result was not in the state's bets interest.

I have this argument before. The claim is that children are suffering and waiting for homes, while their are loving homes waiting to receive them. The conclusion thus seems to be straight forward; let same-sex couples adopt.

I recognize the practicality of the solution and how it serves to provide a seemingly win-win result for both the couples and the children. However, I also believe that if you are going to fundamentally reorganize the family nucleus and let same-sex couples serve as the foundation of future families, then we had better have a stronger argument then "they had room so we shipped em'."


  1. I don't think "they had room so we shipped em" is the argument in favor of same-sex adoption. The argument is what you said; these are loving homes eager to extend their love to a child in need. Since there is no reliable evidence to suggest that gay parents are unfit or that having same-sex parents impairs development, ( preventing children from getting the opportunity for a safe home is inhumane.

    Also, allowing same-sex couples to adopt is not fundamentally reorganizing the family nucleus. The family nucleus is not as structured as many people like to imagine. Even if it did exist to the extent understood in the popular imagination, those couples arguably have already reorganized that unit by being in a committed relationship.

  2. The idea of family is continually evolving, so this concept of the 1950s "Leave it to Beaver" two parents, 2.5 kids, white picket fenced house doesn't exist-we are always "reorganizing the family nucleus." For some cultures extended families raising cultures is the norm. Up until the last century, single parent households were common, usually because life expectancy was shorter and parents died. Blended families have always existed, they just have made news more frequently in the last twenty years because of our high divorce rate in the U.S. Single parent families have always existed-look at war widows and single father households because the mother died in childbirth. In fact, single parent households are becoming the norm for low income minority women.

    There doesn't need to be any argument. Will they regardless of their sexual orientation or marital status be good parents? Can they provide a stable, healthy household to raise a child in? They they should be considered on equal footing as heterosexual, married couples.

    *Facts from Stephanie Coontz, Marriage, a History; Santrock, Adolescent Development, 1oth ed.