Listening to the Children of Gay Parents


Out from Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting
Dawn Stefanowicz, Annotation Press, 245 pages, $14.95

As a clinical law professor in 1986, I represented six-year-old Tiffany in a proceeding to terminate her mother’s parental rights. It was a heart-breaking and difficult case because the mother-daughter bond was strong — and hugely inappropriate. My little client’s mother, it seemed, had not let her beloved daughter out of sight, even when turning the tricks of her trade as a prostitute. This otherwise normal-appearing child had acquired shockingly explicit language and sexual behaviors sitting on the edge of mommy’s bed; Tiffany could not function in school because of her aggressive sexual advances toward other children.
Back then, broad consensus existed that early sexualizing of children constituted grave harm, even abuse, warranting state intervention to protect the best interests of the child. That, of course, was back then — and in the context of heterosexuality and well-developed notions of sexual perversion. Now, everything’s different: The Culture of Adult Desire has filled and overflowed mainstream pursuits, pushing aside even simple safeguards for children, such as protecting them from explicitly sexual environments.
The classic consensus that young children should never, under any circumstances, consume sexually explicit material or witness sex acts or demonstrations has open challengers, such as the well-advertised attendance of children at the “world’s largest leather event,” the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco (featuring nudity, sadomasochistic and fetish dress, and public masturbation), the access to pornography in public libraries, and the mandatory education in some public schools on homosexuality as early as kindergarten. What is “appropriate” sexual development for a child has, not surprisingly, come under debate as communities that identify themselves primarily by their gender orientation and sexual practices seek to raise children in their often sexually charged environments.
Dawn Stefanowicz’s Out from Under takes on gay parenting from one child’s perspective. It is her candid account of life growing up “under” an exploitative father whose same-sex attraction blasted his life and the life of his wife and three children like a hurricane. Stefanowicz’s early, explicit, and continuous exposure to sex-obsessed gay subculture generated the subtitle of her chronicle, “The Impact of Homosexual Parenting.”
With an amazing, faith-driven charity, Stefanowicz offers explanation, even understanding, for the lifestyle her father imposed on the family:
In many ways, he seemed as stubbornly wedged in the confusion of early adolescence as I was. He was never content with himself and was constantly trying to improve his appearance. He was often narcissistic, self-absorbed, and very needy for male affirmation and affection. His ideal sexual partner was someone who would be very subordinate to his demands without being effeminate. He used power in these relationships, often with men ten years his junior. . . . He carried a lot of unresolved anger . . . and had numerous and anonymous sexual partners . . . involved in many different kinds of sexual behavior, including group sex. So, of course, there would be jealousy and hurt feelings from time to time . . . there was that legion of spurned ex-partners who would no longer come around.
Various partners, we learn, lived with, visited, and traveled with the family, with no significant resistance from the author’s mother, a woman who was “primarily a reactor and hadn’t been the ultimate source of our family’s misery,” a woman who “lacked the strength of character” to risk her husband’s rejection, anger, and violence. In her teen years, her father increasingly included her in his evenings of cruising, encouraged her to experiment sexually, and emphasized his own economic success as a model for her to follow.
Only after his death from AIDS, and with the help of intensive therapy, did Stefanowicz come to accept that satisfying her life-long yearning for his unconditional love and nonsexual affection was never possible, and to heal the confused sexual identity that her father imposed upon her: “What makes it so hard for a girl to grow up with a gay father is that she never gets to see him loving, honoring, or protecting the women in his life . . . [and] being a woman was part of who I am.” That part, her authentic feminine identity, was rejected and oppressed in service to her father’s sports-like approach toward sexual activity, with its breathtaking disregard for the emotional and physical impact of the pursuit.
The author’s traumatic experience with gay parenting fairly raises the challenge to discuss — as openly and charitably as the author does herself — whether children can be raised healthily within subcultures that promote, support, and celebrate same-sex sexual behavior as the primary source of adult identity. Will such subcultures inevitably expose children to levels of sexuality long considered immoral and deleterious to the development of children, and certainly proven to be so by experiences reported in Out from Under?
Some gay parenting advocates will claim that their family environments need be no different than a functional heterosexual family. They might well point to the developing body of children’s books that present families with same-sex parents as loving, stable, and supportive. My Daddy’s Roommate, published in 1991 as a picture-book for two- to five-year-olds, opens with one father’s divorce and his toddler’s narrative “Now there’s somebody new at Daddy’s house,” his roommate Frank. Daddy and Frank, we learn from the child, do all the same things together that mommies and daddies do. So far so good, but is such a portrayal of the “two Daddy” household more wish or reality?
More honestly, gay parenting offers a challenge to the classic paradigm that protects children from adult sexuality and left my little client Tiffany without a mother, in the care of the state. In Tiffany’s case, the judge easily ruled that Tiffany’s viewing of her mother having sexual intercourse with men constituted adequate grounds for terminating her mother’s parental rights. Similar rulings, no doubt, still occur across the United States — bolstered by a strong, Supreme Court-approved federal anti-child pornography law (U.S. v. Williams, May 19, 2008).
But the consensus has clearly collapsed — as the nation witnessed and winked at photos of two-year-old, bottle-sipping, dog-collared twins Zola and Veronica with the bare-bottomed, leathered, fetish revelers at the Folsom Street Fair last year. The girls’ two daddies told reporters, “Every parent has to decide for themselves what is right for them. And we decided that this is right for our children.”
Gender radicals and free-speech enthusiasts like Judith Levine (Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex)and Marjorie Heins (Not in Front of the Children: Indecency, Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth)offer a growing body of literature to support these dads’ exposure of young children to adult sexuality. And the strong trend within the gay male community to redefine marriage as a non-monogamous living arrangement further portends mixing of adult sexual behavior into the lives of young children, like that chronicled by Stefanowicz.
All of which underscores the importance of Stefanowicz’s brave and balanced voice. Zola and Veronica cannot — and may never be able to — speak for themselves and describe to legislators, politicians, and social experimentalists the horror of being collared and dragged to watch men masturbate in public. But Stefanowicz has done so, without bitterness and with that endearing love girls so often hold for their fathers, no matter how dysfunctional and selfish their parenting. The question remains, will anyone listen?

Marjorie Campbell

By

Marjorie Campbell is an attorney and speaker on social issues from a Catholic perspective. She lives in San Francisco with her family and writes a regular column, "On the Way to the Kingdom," for Catholic Womanhood at CNA.

  • Fr. Joseph

    There’s certainly nothing in this article I can disagree with!

  • Richard

    No argument because there is no article. Please fix.

  • Christina Jopson

    Sorry for the error! Enjoy the review-

  • Adriana

    Indeed, that son had a horrible childhood under an abusive parent, and one so beaten down that could not protect her children.

    But not any worse than that of an incest victim, with a mother beaten down, and much worse, indoctrinated into submissivness and the rejection of divorce. There have been too many cases, with victims speaking out to make us believe that if we abolished homosexuality those horrors will go away.

    Child abuse is child abuse – and child sexual abuse is a crime, no matter the gender of the victim and the perpetrator.

  • Adriana

    I should preview more. I meant the daughter. I do not know what I was thinking.

    At least the grammar is correct (I hope)

  • R.C.

    The Church teaches that abortion is the killing of an innocent human being, and something which therefore must be outlawed.

    (As an aside: Whether it is outlawed or not, it ought not to be voluntarily done. But my point is that the Church also teaches that it is an objective moral obligation of law enforcement to protect the rights of the innocent, and of legislators to write laws which will authorize and compel police to do so. The Church rarely tells government exactly what its laws must be…but this is one of those times.)

    So…does the Church also teach that adoption of children by persons who unrepentantly engage in gay sex and who would teach those children that it is not immoral to do so, should be outlawed?

    On a related topic: It is wrong to teach children that gay sex is morally permissible; we all agree on that. But is teaching children this error so wrong that it can be considered abusive? If so, does the Church set a threshold beyond which, as in any abusive parent-child relationship, the parent rights should be abrogated, and the child rescued from that household?

    Not that anything like this will be enshrined in U.S. law any time soon! But neither will abortion be outlawed. I merely want to know what the Church teaches is the obligation of government on this point — if she has taught anything about it.

    For we know that the Church teaches that many things are wrong, which she does not teach governments should outlaw. I want to know where this topic stands, with regards both to adoption, and biological parenthood.

  • JC

    R. C.,

    Actually, Catholic teaching is that teaching children about sexuality before puberty at all is abusive (this is the objection many parents and ethicists raise to “safe environment” programs).

    As for the legalities, yes. Personally, I think we’ve gone too far in the post-conciliar attitude about “respecting” those who commit the Sin Against Nature. Obviously, we should respect them as individuals, but we should not respect their behavior or their disorder.

    It’s like saying that, since bipolar is a genetic trait, people should “respect” bipolars when they’re in manias and depressions.

    In _Casti Connubii_, Pius XI states very cleraly that the state has the right to punish those who commit the Sin Against Nature.

    In regard to adoption, it doesn’t make sense. They supposedly screen potential adoptive parents for all sorts of things, including mental and physical health. My wife and I would be open to adopting older children (usually identified as the main problem of “unadopted children”), once we’re a little more financially stable and in a bigger house. But we probably would never qualify because of my health.

    Alcoholics are often denied the privilege of adoption. Heck, society goes to great lengths to dissuade and even prohibit anyone with certain mental disabilities and physical disabilities from having biological children, much less adopting.

    Yet this one particular mental illness gets a pass, and even gets favorable treatment.

  • Todd

    Well … the sexualization of children by family adults goes on regardless of sexual orientation. The errors of SSA people listed above seem not dissimilar to porn magazines, vibrators, “premium” movie channels, or any number of other heterosexual practices. Long-accepted things like bringing a teen boy to a prostitute for “initiation” also come to mind as big problems for heterosexuals who just want to claim the moral high ground without a serious examination of motives of practice.

    Let’s just say that a child’s improper exposure to sex is a gravely sinful thing, and people inclined to do it, straight or gay, are not the best parents, and possibly shouldn’t have children in their custody.

  • R.C.

    J.C.

    I follow and can get behind what you’ve said thus far.

    But it doesn’t sound like there’s a definitive teaching from the Church, there, regarding the legality of “practicing” gays being guardians of minors.

    The Church is entirely clear about abortion; she says that:
    (a.) It is a sin;
    (b.) Among sins, it abortion is a particularly egregious and violent violation of basic human rights;
    (c.) It is wrong for governments not to prohibit by law egregious and violent violations of basic human rights;
    (d.) It is a sin for any person who serves in government, who in his official duties may make a decision regarding the legality or prohibition of an egregious and violent violation of a basic human right, not to render that decision in favor of prohibiting or criminalizing that violation;
    (e.) A politician who knowingly does otherwise thereby sins mortally and, pending contrite repentance, penance, and acts of restitution (which, presuming he/she is still in office, would entail active measures to prohibit abortion), that politician is in danger of hell. (I don’t think I’m overstating the church position, here, as I’ve included the word “knowingly.”)

    So, my point is that, on abortion at least, the Church presses for a specific legislative position. It’s quite clear; not much gray area there!

    And I’d like to know whether the church officially, infallibly, teaches anything similarly specific about government policy related to practicing gays serving as guardians of minor children.

    Your note, J.C., tells me (in effect) that the Church “wouldn’t mind” if, say, it were illegal for practicing gays to adopt. Fine. But does she specifically advocate making it illegal, the way that she specifically advocates outlawing abortion?

    Or has she not spoken on the matter?

    To put it differently: Were I a legislator in office now, in a state where gays may legally adopt, would I be morally obligated to propose legislation to outlaw such adoptions? Even if it would never pass?

    What about, if there’s a good chance it would pass?

    Or, if it were proposed by another legislator and came to a vote, does the Church teach that it would be a sin if I voted against? If I abstained?

  • R.C.

    Todd:

    I’m with ya’ about improper sexualization of pre-puberty (and even early-puberty) kids, no matter whether the sexualization is heterosexual or homosexual in nature.

    And of course “hetero” sexual sins can be just as mortal or disordered as gay sexual sin. So, while your statement, “The errors of SSA people listed above seem not dissimilar…” seems like a red herring, I acknowledge that it needs to be said. We Christians should not present ourselves as gay-haters when we are, in reality, supposed to be opposed to all sin, while charitable toward all men.

    All the same, in our society there are certain sexual sins which it is possible to keep secret even from those in one’s own household (e.g. chronic masturbation or certain fetishes) and which therefore cannot be “known in advance” by the state to affect the rearing of children, who could have gone off to college blissfully unaware.

    It seems to me, though, that a declared practice of pursuing same-sex relations is not in this category (nor would be a declared practice of in-the-house orgies, gay or straight). These are things which the kid will obviously see. The state knows this in advance.

    What should the state do about it? Anything? Does the Church say they should do anything? If so, what?

  • Adriana

    The problem is that, as others have said, heterosexual couples have been guilty of the same sort of abuse of their childre, or worse. If Dawn’s father were heterosexual, he would still be a jerk for whom sex was a God-given right, and his family a captive audience to his exploits. The difference was that the parade of spurred sex-partners who dropped in would have been of the female sex.

    Evidenly the man was of that pathetic legion for whom the practice of birth control, far from being a sin, is a duty. Because if that is how you are going to treat your children, you should have none.

    What does that tell us about homosexuality per se? Very little – the same as the horrors of the Austrian cellar teaches us anything about heterosexuality per se.

  • Marjorie Campbell

    I think the author’s primary, and fair, point is this: “What makes it so hard for a girl to grow up with a gay father is that she never gets to see him loving, honoring, or protecting the women in his life . . . [and] being a woman was part of who I am.” Of course we all have seen incidents of parental abuse, many much worse than this author’s experience. But I think her challenge is focused on the domineering – and celebrated – role of promiscuity and open sexuality within many SSA communities of men and whether men who embrace this orientation and behaviors can ever raise female children in a “non-abusive” way.

  • R.C.

    Marjorie:

    That’s certainly correct; the author’s focus was neither on Church teaching or government; I admit I was merely satisfying my own curiosity on those points, and was going slightly off-topic.

    Now, the promiscuity associated with gay male culture is not reflected among homosexual women. But I think the author’s observation would still apply: A child being raised by two women does not get to see a private household’s inner workings whereby a man loves his wife, and she him.

    What a tragic loss!

  • Todd

    I am sympathetic to the author’s horrid experience, especially having seen what alcoholism did to so many of my own family members. However, Marjorie’s assessment that the book “takes on gay parenting from one child’s perspective,” states the obvious that should deter us from connecting these dots to some larger condemnation of SSA people as parents or family members.

    This book is, after all, one person’s perspective. As an autobiography, I’m sure it achieves a task: allowing the person to show how she triumphed over adversity.

    It’s all too easy for us to focus on the horrors of this story, then turn it over and say, “I’ve got one that’s even worse.”

    As for the ideal situation of a child being raised by one mother and one father, we may be living in a blessed age compared to times when mortality was high and a high percentage of children lost one or both parents. For me, the question isn’t clucking at two men or two women raising a child. It seems to me we should focus more on the children, especially those who have neither father nor mother to raise them.

    As for any scientific study of children being raised by gay parents, forget about it. The current climate is so poisoned, such a study would have no hope of reception from any side expecting bad news. Catholics, especially conservatives ones, would be better served to advocate for parentless children of all ages, and leave off the whiff of the culture wars … for the good of the kids.

  • Adriana

    Marjorie:

    Remember the old maxim “hard cases make bad law”. You cannot extrapolate from one strongly dysfunctional family and concentrate on only one aspect of the dysfunction, overlooking other aspects.

    There are plenty of heterosexual households where the men do not honor the women in the family. Abusive husbands are very good at making women feel like **** – and the fact that they do enjoy sex with women – after they have beaten them down – does not improve the situation.

    Conversely, there are plenty of opportunities for men who are not married to a woman to honor women. After all, they do have mothers, sisters, aunts, nieces, and plenty of opportunities to honor them.

    I would classify Dawn’s father as abusive, both as a husband and as a father, and would pay little interest about the form the abuse took, except that note that it did extensive damage.

  • Tito Edwards

    It’s very interesting to see when a review or a commentary on homosexual parenting is even written about there are those that will chime in and say heterosexual parenting is just as bad. I’m not diminishing or stating that there is no moral equivalency, but it reminds me of the Catholic priest right after 9/11 on CNN proclaim that Christianity is just as bad as Islam in commiting heinous crimes such as 9/11.

    Why bring up straw man arguments? Why not stay focused on the subject instead of expounding a nonsensical diatribe of the ‘horrors of heterosexual parenting’?

    This moral equivalency gnoshing does nothing to advance the discussion and bogs down the discussion on subjects irrelevant to the actual posting.

  • MJ Anderson

    It is dismaying to see the number of Catholics who will find any pretense to comfort their accommodation of the homosexual agenda.

    There is nothing “just” nor “compassionate” about an orphaned child living with a SSA pair. It is not permissible to tolerate same-sex pairs as potential adoptive parents. Unlike dysfunctional heterosexual couples, within SSA pairs, there IS NO possibility for normalcy.

    Pretend for a moment that two households contain a parent with a physically abusive temper. One household is a married couple, the other is a SSA pair. Both households seek counseling for the abusive temper and its effects on family members. Both households improve with counseling. Now the heterosexual family is in the normal range, but the SSA unit is still abnormal and frankly, abusive in that it inculcates and models a disordered understanding of reality. SSA pairs teach rebellion against the given order, and expose children–victims!–to all manner of sexual confusion.)

    Homosexuality is a symptom of a deeper disorder. For this reason there are many attendant problems other than aberrant sexual acts. The rate of domestic violence in SSA households is far greater than any other form of domestic arrangement. The rate of alcoholism, drug use, and disease is far greater–how is this a “good” choice for a child?

    What appears to be at work here is that some–including Catholics– so passionately want society to function in a particular manner, that they are willing to sacrifice children to prove that their vision of a “compassionate, tolerant” culture can be constructed. It cannot.

    The final line of the story is that SSA pairs are not, nor can ever be, part of God’s plan for mankind. True compassion is to assist people to seek truth. If we are a people who believe that the Truth will “set you free” then we must be courageous enough to show others the Truth.

    The Church teaches against homosexual adoptions. How then can any professed Catholic attempt to find conditions under which it might be a tolerable choice?

  • Karen

    First of all, the father described in this book was an abusive jerk, regardless of his sexual orientation.

    I have to point out, however, that the contemporary ability to conceal all sexual conduct from kids is a product of modernity. For most of humanb history, families lived in, at most, two rooms. I’m pretty sure that children who grew up as hunter-gatherers or in early agricultural villages made up of mud huts weren’t aware of sex until after puberty. I regard the fact that we can conceal this information as one of the great benefits of modernity, but it is something unique to our era. Exposing children to sex in this age is abusive because it is completely outside our customs. In other ages and circumstances, however, it might not have been so.

  • Tom

    The Church no longer has any influence in how laws are created. That began with the Protestant Reformation and has degraded more and more ever since.

    I grew up in a home where the Church was hated and criticized. As a family we did not have the slightest moral compass except the violence that cam from our parents when we did not do what we were told.

    Eventually we landed in a cult. That is where ignorance and pride will take you. Well, when I hear stories like this… I live again all those years of drifting, pain, beatings, abuse and anger.

    Luther was the first abuser. He abused the whole Western Civilization by introducing the “It’s your thing” kind of philosophy. I sure hope he is where he deserves to be and getting a lot of what he dispensed to others.

    Man I wished I had been born in those “dark ages” when everything was more clear than in these “illuminated” times.

    We aren’t going to Hell: Hell is coming to us. We are building it.

  • Adriana

    Tito:

    It is not a question of saying “the other side is just as bad”, as to ask that a minimum of rigor be maintained in the analysis.

    To say that an instance in which there were a lot of things going wrong that the unfortunate result was caused by one *and only one* of the conditions without doing any further analysis to prove it is so, nor trying to separate the conditions and to wonder what effect each of them could have is ignoring all scientific protocols for research.

    You have every right to assert that gay parenting “per se” is bad, and to try to prove it.

    But you have no right to use a contaminated sample as proof. And this book is one such contaminated sample. With so many other things going wrong, it is impossible to pin down all the unfortunate effects to *only one* of the conditions – not without further analysis.

  • Adriana

    MJ:

    You want to know about when an homosexual adoption could be a tolerable choice?

    You can try to find about conditions in Russian or Romanian, or Chinese orphanages. In those places children have trouble being human at all, let alone sexually unconfused humans.

    For them an homosexual adoption can be a great improvement….

    Everything is relative in this world. Remember that they killed Michael Collins for being too moderate…

  • Mother of Two boys

    Being from California myself, I admire your boldness in bringing this book to us to reflect upon. My heart is so heavy for our children because so many parents live their lives revolving around their own needs and wants instead of keeping the children’s developmental needs, spiritual, emotional,and intellectual the priority. I grew up on a Military base where we enjoyed pretty close relationships with neighbors and Catholic families… played sports, went to Church and Religious Education, shared holidays and barbeques together. One of these families endured a terrible disruption of their childhood when their Father announced to them that he was gay. He was married and had 4 children. I can’t even begin to describe the impact his announcement and then his living out his gay lifestyle had on these children — 2 boys and 2 girls. Still to this day, they treat their Mother with such disrespect it curls my toes. It is heartbreaking to think what more could the children in our nation endure and what will the longterm impact be on them and on our country. I am grateful that you are dedicated to putting the LIGHT onto this perspective from a child of Gay parents. I hope that it matters to enough of us to PUT CHILDREN’s Best Interest FIRST if we are going to choose to be parents, educators, ministers.

  • MJ Anderson

    Adriana,
    I understand what you want to convey, and empathize. The conditions for some of these children are wrenching. Suppose, however, we were to rephrase the concept as “in this situation you might well starve or die, but over here you will only be maimed and crippled.”

    Orphans from Eastern European institutions cannot be placed with SSA units. It may be marginally better in the short run (they will have food, medical care), but not in the long run. What is needed is for more families to come forward to give these children homes. That is a worthwhile goal for our energies.

    One last thought–It is correct to note that the wider culture is also dysfunctional, but we simply must draw the line somewhere and begin to push back toward a balanced moral core. When a society will not protect and defend even its children, that society has pronounced its own death.

  • Jay S

    Todd states that conservative Catholics should leave the cultural wars. I’m sure he does, for if we do, then the leftists will win. Conservative Catholics must fight on the front lines of the cultural wars. We are the best trained, best equiped to do so.
    Todd is also always mentioned the strawman defense that “straights do it too.” Nice try, but it doesn’t fly. The truth is that gays have a much higher rate of multiple sex partners, drug use, sexual abuse of minors, and other anit-family behavior than straights. There are people who grew up in the worst possible conditions, yet turned out to be ourstanding citizens, yet does that mean that everyone will turn out that way? It boils down to the numbers. A child raised in a two parent home who goes to church, family has a stable income, is less likely to engage in criminal behavior. A child who is raised by a drug taking prostitute is more likely to engage in criminal behavior.

  • Nathan Cushman

    I’ll just reiterate a point or two other people have made:

    1. While a “good” homosexual couple is better than a “bad” heterosexual couple, the homosexual couple teaches a flawed world view by default, and cannot compare with a good married heterosexual couple for teaching mutual respect between men and women, and proper respect for self

    Note: I do wonder if it might be tolerable for homosexuals to adopt in some situations, as long as we are willing to recognize that it is not ideal, and more ideal heterosexual couples are given preference, and adoption agencies have a choice in the matter.

    2. I think one of the major points has been that abusive behaviors are seen as acceptable within the gay subculture, whereas (though common) abusive heterosexual behaviors have always been looked down upon except possibly within certain straight subcultures (which are admittedly becoming more mainstream). The Church, at least, has always opposed both inappropriate sexual behaviors of straights and gays. The problem is that people confuse popular ideologies with church doctrines.

    Secular machismo is often at fault, but the Church gets blamed. One popular “macho” subculture idea is that, “men are made men when they have sex with a woman, but women become whores when they have sex outside of marriage. Further, gay behavior is hideous and nothing like heterosexual promiscuity or contraception.”

    But this is not what the Church teaches, and it is not what we who love the Church believe. The Church desires to root out the lies of this secular machismo, just as it seeks to fight the gay subculture. The thing is that such ideas more easily hide within people who look like they fit into Christian norms. Also, it is a different fight. In order to fight immoral laws related to heterosexual pornography, promiscuity, etc. we have to change the status quo, while fighting the gay movement is a more immediate battle being thrust upon us by others. We didn’t pick this battle, the battle picked us.

  • Grazie

    China does not allow gays to adopt (single parents have to sign an affidavit stating they are not gay). Last year they stopped allowing adoptions by singles. Some speculate that it was stopped because so many singles lied about their sexual orientation and then blogged about it on the internet and were written up in newspapers.

    There are many many heterosexual couples in the US desperate to adopt (and in the rest of the western world). They can’t because the supply of healthy babies is limited by many factors. In China, very few babies are being released. China says its because abandonments are sharply down, while others say that they are saving face for the olympics. Other countries have been closed to adoption due to accusations of child trafficking and corruption. (Guatemala and Vietnam).

    As of now, the argument that homosexual parenting is better than allowing the child to languish in an orphanage, holds no water. The supply of children is low, not the supply of potential adoptive parents.

    (By the way, very hard to adopt a healthy infant, or even a special needs infant in the U.S. The foster care system does not facilitate or promote early adoption.) Children stay in foster care for years while their birth families get chance after chance to parent them.

  • Nathan Cushman

    Karen wrote: Exposing children to sex in this age is abusive because it is completely outside our customs. In other ages and circumstances, however, it might not have been so.

    I can’t say I’m an expert in this subject, but I do have a degree in anthropology, so I know more than the average Joe.

    It is true that in the past people didn’t have the same degree of privacy as today. And it is true that many families throughout history have lived in one room huts. But in every circumstance I can remember reading about, people did use some discretion when they had intercourse. Even in cultures where everyone was naked all the time. Some times a couple would go hide in the bushes, sometimes they would go into the hut alone while relatives watched the children, or sometimes the would wait until the darkness of night, and come together quietly (sometimes under covers), so that the children wouldn’t really notice.

    The children probably caught glimpses here or there, but the actions were subtle, not paraded around and (improperly) glorified like they are today, so even if the children had some understanding, they wouldn’t have the same hyper-sexualization that would affect a child like the prostitute’s daughter mentioned in the article.

    Of course there have also been whole cultures which were sexually abusive, but I don’t think we want to use them as models for normalcy.

  • Adriana

    MJ:

    Your comment “this way you will die, while the other way, you will be maimed and crippled” is what surgeons offer their patients day in and day out.

    It is better to have two legs – but if there is gangrene, the leg has to go. It is better to have a your bowels whole, but if there is cancer, you get an ostomy operation.

    You may decry it, and wish for the best case scenario. But for most of people in the trenches, the question is not to aim for the best, but to prevent the worst.

    And the way those orpahanages cripple children is chilling. We are talking about the inability to empathize, or to form a human connection. We are talkinga about not being able to form a conscience.

    Yes, by all means try to bring the children into a normal family. But if that is not available, if the choice is between the child growing up sexually confused, and growing up unable to be a functioning human being at any level, I cannot conceive abandoing the child to the worse fate.

    “Things are as they are, not as we would wish them to be” as Generalissimo Francisco Franco explained to Presient Johnson.

  • Todd

    “The supply of children is low, not the supply of potential adoptive parents.”

    I’m afraid this is a myth.

    Currently there are well over 100,000 American kids who have no legal entanglements and could be adopted by Christmas, were there enough willing couples. Total number of kids without parents in the US is a bit over a half-million.

    Worldwide, the numbers of parentless children are estimated in the few tens of millions.

    It is true that many prospective adoptive parents insist on infants. It’s also true that infants are cute, lovable, and come with less damage than many older kids. If one wants to state that the supply of healthy infants of an ethnic or racial acceptability is low, I suppose one could say that.

    My wife and I adopted a five-year-old other people didn’t want. Poo on them; we got the best kid.

    If adoption is about a certain “style” that by rearing a child from infancy, or even earlier, is what some adoptive parents need, I’m not going to criticize that in individuals. What I will criticize is the social sin that leaves untold millions of less-cute, racially mixed, and emotionally scarred kids out of family life the Church says they have a right to enjoy. What I want to ask is why conservative Catholics, among other adults in society, haven’t stepped up to the plate and shouldered their responsibility.

    Bottom line: too much yapping about rights; not enough about responsibility and duty.

  • Wrong

    No to gay adoption.

  • gianetta

    All I can say is BRAVO for writing a book like that and having the guts to review it. Western society has long passed going off the deep end. It is totally looney.

    The author of the book hit the nail on the head, the glorification of desire combined with sheer immaturity. The addictive nature of same sex relationships should ring some bells. Instead, they are for weddings, compounding the problem.

    In other words, children who were not properly modeled will not be able to pass on any healthy behavior because they never saw it. Aberrant behavior becomes the norm. In other words, the insane are running the asylum.

    While other Churches go down the slippery path of accepting the “gay nature” of their clergy, the Catholic Church may be the ONLY voice of sanity, preserving the dignity of marriage and the family.

    We’re only talking about the total disintegration of Western culture that has been based on self-control–deferred gratification–in order to live in a civil society.

    This was fairly obvious to just about every educated person 50 years ago whether they agreed or not.

    Universal amnesia has set in. Very bad, indeed.

  • LJ
  • Anonymous

    What in the world? Please explain to me how the stories of a maladjusted young girl who has been overly sexualized and of a girl whose father clearly appeared to be conflicted with his identity and also had an inappropriate relationship with his daughter during which he overexposed her to his sex life is related to stable gay parenting.

MENU