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Dangers of Same-Sex Couples Adopting Children (Part 2)

11/8/2004 - 6:30 AM PST

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Dale O'Leary on the Stress for Kids

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, NOV. 8, 2004 (Zenit) - Adopted children of same-sex parents face the deprivation of either a mother or father and the strain of living in an unstable and unnatural situation, according to a researcher in the field.

Dale O'Leary, a writer and researcher for the Catholic Medical Association , shared with ZENIT how same-sex parents give their children a second-class upbringing by exacerbating normal problems that adopted kids experience.

Part 1 of this interview appeared Friday.

Q: What's the difference between a child being adopted by a same-sex couple and by a heterosexual couple?

O'Leary: If children adopted by married couples ask, "Why was I given up for adoption?" what will the children who are given to same-sex couples ask? Will they not wonder why their mother would give them over to a permanently and purposefully mother-less or father-less family?

And how does adoption by a same-sex couple—which gay activists admit can expose the child to social stress—protect a child from the stigma of being raised by a single mother?

Sooner or later the child will ask, "Why was I deserted by my father, given up by my mother and then treated by society as a second-class baby who could be placed in a second-class situation?"

Persons with same-sex attractions who adopt love their children, and the children love their adoptive parents, but because there is love there will also be denial. The same-sex couples will not be able to admit to themselves the harm they have done to the children they love, and so will blame "society" or "homophobia" for the problems they face. The children will not be able to voice their dissatisfaction and will at the same time feel guilty for not being grateful. The children will be made to feel that there is something wrong with their natural desire for a parent of opposite sexes.

We have already seen an example of this. Rosie O'Donnell, a very public lesbian and advocate for lesbian adoption, was asked what she would do if her adopted son wanted a father. According to O'Donnell, her son had already expressed that desire. When he was 6, he said, "I want to have a daddy."

O'Donnell replied, "If you were to have a daddy, you wouldn't have me as a mommy because I'm the kind of mommy who wants another mommy. This is the way mommy got born." He said, "OK, I'll just keep you."

While O'Donnell undoubtedly sees this as a positive affirmation of same-sex adoption, there is another interpretation: She made her son feel that his natural desire for a father is a rejection of her. That is a terrible burden to place on a little boy.

And it gets worse. In the same interview, O'Donnell recounted how she explained adoption to her son: "... he understands that there are different types of people; that he grew up in another lady's tummy, and that God looked inside and saw there was a mix-up and that God brought him to me."

In other words, in light of this and the previous conversation between O'Donnell and her son, it is wrong for him to want a daddy because God decided that he shouldn't have one.

Q: What other dangers threaten children who are adopted by same-sex couples?

O'Leary: Children surrendered for adoption have been separated from their biological mothers and often from transitional caregivers. This can lead to attachment disorders. Attachment to a single maternal figure during the first eight months of life is crucial to emotional development. Raising a child with an attachment disorder requires special sensitivity on the part of his or her adoptive parents.

A friend who adopted a child from Eastern Europe discovered that her adopted son had a severe attachment disorder. The specialist told her that his ability to trust was so damaged that she should not leave him for any extended period for several years.

Because children surrendered for adoption have already suffered one major loss, it is very important that they be placed in the most stable situation possible. Same-sex couples are the least stable arrangement.

Gay male couples are very likely to break up; even if they remain together, they are rarely sexually faithful to one another. Lesbian couples are more likely to remain together than gay male couples, but they are not nearly as stable as married heterosexual couples. Because of this, a child placed with a same-sex couple is at greater risk for a second major loss during childhood. The research on the effects of divorce on children is clear and unequivocal—divorce is profoundly damaging. The damage is necessarily greater for the adoptive child.

Michael Reagan—who was adopted by President Ronald Reagan and his first wife, who later divorced—speaks of divorce as two adults ...

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