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Adoption Becoming Part of Gay Rights Battle

Ram Cnaan. Photo courtesy of University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work.

Adoption is becoming increasingly entangled in the gay rights struggle, according to this article in Christianity Today Magazine.

For instance, a foster father went to court challenging a Florida law that bans adoptions by gays and lesbians. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would ban discrimination in adoptions. And the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington warned it could cancel some social services after the District of Columbia approved gay marriage.

Social worker Ram Cnaan, who was interviewed in the article, said Stark’s bill may go too far because it would minimize the role of non-profit and faith-based adoption agencies.

Cnaan is director of the Program for Religion and Social Policy Research at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a former member of the National Association of Social Workers.

“Marginalizing the uniqueness of faith-based organizations and forcing them to act secularly is the cookie-cutter type mistake,” Cnaan said. “Not all adoption agencies should be molded to be alike, as many children and families have different needs that can be best met by allowing many different providers to co-exist.”

Social workers often play a key role in adoptions. To learn more, visit the National Association of Social Workers “Help Starts Here” Adoptions and Foster Care Web page. We would also like to ask you this question:

Q: Should Congress pass a law requiring adoption agencies provide services to all potential parents, including gays, lesbians and single parents? Or should agencies continue to set their own adoption policies?

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  1. Oh wow this is so interesting. I wish this article was longer so that Cnaan could’ve gone deeper into WHY he believes it’s a cookie cutter mistake with examples and more thoughts.

  2. Adoption is a privilege, not a right or entitlement., Thus the questions is being asked in a backward manner. If adoption exists to find homes for children who need them, it is about the rights of those children to the best home, period. In private adoption, the choice can and should be made by the mother who is voluntarily making a decsion that her child is better off without her. She thus has a right to decide if that ‘better’ family is a single mother, a stay-at-home mother and a father, if they are Catholic or Mormon, or two daddies.

    I am as liberal as one can be and I fully support same sex marriage. That’s a personal choice between two adults that should not be denied. In home sales, it is illegal to discriminate. Children, however are not commodities, and the transfer of their custody via adoption is very different. Their right to the best possible home chosen by an agency overrides any alleged, non-existent “rights” of adopters which do not exist. Agencies routinely apply other criteria such as age limits which would also be tantamount to discrimination under other circumstances.

    The mother, and the agency she selected to represent her and her child’s best needs is serving her and her child and thus should uphold her requests. This is no more discrimination or violation of anyone’s civil rights or equality than is the personal choice of who we chose to date, marry or father our children.

    The problem is in the way the question is being presented. it reflects that adoption is not set up to serve the needs of children but to serve the paying client: those who adopt.

    Mirah Riben, author
    The Stork Market: America’s Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry

  3. I believe a Mormon agency has a right to place children only with Mormon families. Catholic and Jewish the same. I think we can no more legislate how a religious agency acts than we can legislate the dogma of their religion. If you don’t agree with their beliefs, you simply pray at another house of worship or not at all.

  4. Absolutely, it should be equal across the board, everytime I hear something bad in regard to parents with children, more often than not, it’s a straight couple. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen in our community but it’s rare. There are alot of children just looking for a good home and love so why not open up that to all peoples as long as they qualify on their merits, sexuality shouldn’t even enter into the equation….

  5. One would hear of more abuse occurring in heterosexual adoptions simply because the number of those type of adoptions so outweigh same sex adoptions.

    Intelligent people know that it is pedophelia, and not homosexuality, that is the problem.

    In my experience of researching adoptions for 30+ years, though there are no follow-up studies of abuse in post adoptive families, the highest rate seems to be among single men. Matthew Mancusco who adopted Masha Allen, for instance, and used her from day one as a sex slave and put her photos on the Internet. William Peckenpaugh who did the same to a boy he adopted. And most recently Frank M. Lombard an official at Duke University who likewise sexually abused his adopted son and offered him to others for sex. Single men adopting, IMHO, should be an immediate red flag.

    Peckenpaugh was associated with MAMBLA. Manscusco had been previously married and accused of abusing his own daughter. None of these facts were known prior tot he adoption and should have been.

    Married heterosexual couples are more inclined to inflict other forms of physical abuse such as torture and starvation, and have murdered children they adopted, Although, earlier this month Andee Verlon Tyler, 51, and his wife, Penny Tyler, 46, along with their son, Ashton Malachi Tyler, 20, on Wednesday pleaded no contest and waived their right to a preliminary hearing in Oklahoma County District Court. The two elder Tylers face felony child abuse charges for the alleged abuse of their adopted 11-year-old Liberian daughter. Ashton Tyler is accused of sexually assaulting his adopted sister and is charged with rape by instrumentation.

  6. A question has been raised on my blog where this is being discussed: and i am wondering if anyone here has an answer.

    Are adoption agencies, both state and religious who receive state and or federal funds thus required not to discriminate? Seems odd to me as they routinely age discriminate.

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