Discrimination against gays has been expressly forbidden across all the states in North America. Gay marriages, for instance, are slowly being recognized, a good illustration is Massachusetts Supreme Court where it was made legal. Gay adoption has also won the battle and a state judge in Miami tossed out a statute that had barred gays from adopting (Lindenberger par.8).
Unlike gay marriages, gay adoption campaigns face a more difficult process. Normally marriage licenses are administrative in nature and are based on the constitutional protection of different states, but child adoption rulings are based on the decision that the U.S. Constitution’s Full Faith and Credit Clause are meant to protect (Lindenberger par.9).
Many conservatives are striving to fight against gay adoption. They have decided that facing the ballot box is the most preferred method to use compared to taking the issue to be tackled in the courthouse. The same conservatives have managed to pass votes in many states, this has led to 45 states in North America to declare gay marriages expressly illegal (Lindenberger par.11).
Most children in foster homes have a scarred past as they have mostly been exposed to frequent abuse and neglect, this is clearly portrayed by the story of Michael in Oregon who had been molested and because of this had lost emotional touch. He refused to be hugged by anyone for four years. As an impact of his behavior, nobody had stepped up to adopt him. When Birtcher and his partner O’Reilley wanted to adopt the child, the law did not allow it because they were gays (Stone par.1, 2).
In North America, over 520,000 children are in foster care, according to North America Council on Adoptable Children. 120,000 children are put on adoption but only 50,000 find homes or families. This leaves 70,000 children in foster homes to be left out. Even though there not enough families that can adopt the children, gays who are willing to adopt are not allowed. Many gays would prefer to adopt a child who is a reject because they understand and feel how it is like to be the odd one out (Stone par.17).
The gay adoption issue will soon face the ballot if the legislators do not act, says Rev. Russel Johnson Chairman of the Ohio Restoration Project. He is the one who spearheaded the fight against gay marriage on the ballot in 2004. The general public also has had a vote on this and a recent poll showed that 58% of Missouri voters and 62% of Ohio voters said they would definitely vote against it (Stone par.15, 21).
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The state of Florida allows gays to become foster parents but ban them from adopting. This is an example of a case experienced by Frank Gill who wants to adopt two boys whom he has fostered since 2004. In the states of Mississippi and Utah, they have also put a ban on adoption (Ruggeri par.1, 2).
There is no evidence showing that gay parents harm children. But many conservatives argue that it’s always in the best interest of the child to have both a mother and a father. In North America only 3 states do not allow gay adoption, 12 states allow gay adoption while the rest 33 states are not sure yet if the adoption petition might be a success (Ruggeri par.4,5).
Gays can find it easy to adopt since many courts treat it differently for single versus couples. But this issue is tricky since in nearly 22 states it is not clear if both partners can legally adopt one child. In the long run, this can leave the child with some crucial legal protections because if one of the parents dies the child can get security from the other. Advocates have argued that the issue of gay adoption should be decided only in the courtroom (Ruggeri par.9).
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