By Patrick LaMar
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional, allowing members of the LGBT community to be legally and officially married at the federal level. However not everyone has completely accepted this as a natural and reasonable view. As a result, some of these couples have decided to apply for adoption in order to make their version of a family more concrete and palpable for their neighbors. And why shouldn’t they? The conventional American family is in shambles! According to cdc.gov, the marriage rate in 44 states is 6.8 per 1,000 people while the divorce rate is 3.6. In 2007, the US Census Bureau published a study which found there about 14 million single parents, mostly moms, raising 26 percent of America’s children. And future projections don’t look much better.
So why should anyone deny children the chance to offer a loving and stable home environment, even if the parents are homosexual? Wouldn’t this help fix many of the social problems facing the nation today? Perhaps. A more stable home environment most definitely would not hurt in curbing juvenile crime rates and could promote better test scores at school.
Yet there are some negative consequences if same sex couples are allowed to adopt and raise children which have not been seriously considered.
First, whether by some happenstance of natural processes or by the specific design of God, human offspring were intended to be raised by their biological and heterosexual parents. Not all animals raise their young in this fashion, but the human animal does. Therefore there will be consequences for going against the nature and the will of nature’s God. For example, a child raised by a homosexual couple may not necessarily choose to follow the same behavior.
However the child is more likely to accept this as a natural behavior for humans when it is clearly not. And if a child accepts one unnatural behavior to be acceptable, what prevents the same child from doing the same for other forms of conduct?
Second, since the beginning of human history the family has been the basic social unit. It is within the family where one learns how to properly relate and communicate with others. It is within the family where people learn about customs, the concepts of rules and laws and create worldviews. Thus the family plays an enormous function in society. Suddenly changing it would make other traditional institutions vulnerable to abrupt transformations which would lead to other devastating consequences.
Yes, many cultural institutions are perhaps silly and society has helped to do away with those which make very little sense or stand in the way of progress. An example would be the allowance of interracial marriage. Yet that doesn’t mean each of them should suddenly be overturned without studying and considering the results of doing so. Unfortunately, no conclusive studies performed by independent and unbiased researchers have been made to show whether or not LGBT couples are equally capable of raising families as their straight counterparts.
Third, there is the problem of choosing which parent is more essential: the father or the mother? Or perhaps a better question would be: who has the authority to answer that question? When you adopt, you are deciding the future for someone in a major way. By what right or authority then does a lesbian or gay couple decide that children do not need a father or a mother? As mentioned earlier, the family makes serious impacts upon society as well as children. And the nuclear family was designed for one mother and one father, not mentors or closely related family members. Would it not stand to reason then that both parents are essential to raise children? If either were not needed, why do they both instinctively acknowledge their responsibility as parents?
Finally, legalizing LGBT couples to adopt doesn’t really solve the problem. In fact adoption alone is not a solution, but a band-aid. The problem is not that there are too many children without a loving home environment and too few willing to help, though this is a problem. The problem is that there are too many unloving home environments and too few willing to help. The church and secular society can praise and promote adoption all day long, but still fail to address the heart of the matter.
By allowing LGBT couples to adopt, it would be a public sign of surrender. As Christians we are called not to surrender, but to fight with power of God in all matters. As members of a social community, it is our civic duty to maintain and strengthen our social institutions. We need to provide homes for children around the world where they will be properly cared for, and adoption is a good way to help them. But we need to focus on fixing the problems which make adoption the best option.