Recently, the Huffington Post featured a piece by Adam Pertman, director of the Evan B. Donaldson Institute. In it, Pertman asks, “With So Many Kids Who Need Families, Why Are We Rejecting Parents?” Many states do not allow gay parents to foster or adopt children from foster care. Studies have shown that gay parenting is not harmful to children, and that having a stable family life is better than foster care. Therefore, the agencies who state that they are thinking of the best interests of the children cannot hide behind that. Agencies who discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation do so because they erroneously believe that families lead by two heterosexual parents are better than families lead by two homosexual parents. By refusing to serve homosexual parents, they are essentially stating that no family is better than one lead by homosexuals.
Like many others, I am sick of the discrimination. Personally, I do not believe that any adoption agency, public or private, should be able to discriminate against prospective parents who meet the state’s home study requirements. Think about it – restaurants, retail stores, hospitals, and many other establishments do not get to choose the people they serve on the basis of a protected class. A hospital cannot turn away a Black patient or a Jewish patient. A store cannot serve only men. A restaurant cannot serve only heterosexual couples. Why are adoption agencies allowed to discriminate?
Agencies that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, sexual identity, or membership in other protected classes are not acting in the best interest of the children they claim to serve. For example, Bethany Christian may believe that children are better off in Christian homes. However, there is no research to back up that claim. Really, Bethany and other Christian-only agencies want to create more Christian children. Instead of serving the children, they are furthering their own agendas, and denying parents and children the opportunity to become families.
Certainly, if an agency receives state or federal dollars it should not be allowed to discriminate on the basis of membership in a protected class. I would go further and state that any agency, no matter how it is funded, should not be able to deny prospective parents who meet the home study requirements of their states. It’s just not in the best interest of the children.