Controversial Issue In Media That Challenged Societal Tolerance Of Free Speech
Same sex Marriages and Adoption
What is the issue and why did it cause controversy?
Same sex couples, gay and lesbians, have been adopting since they could legally marry or even declare their relationship in public. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Adoption and Foster Care Analysis Reporting System (AFCARS), 10% of the American population, about 25 million people, were homosexuals as at 1997 (Gates, Badgett,Macomber&Chambers, 2007).In the past years, same sex couples had to overcome numerous challenges before they could adopt a baby. However, today, same sex couples are increasinglybeing considered as prospective adoptive parents. It is believed that the rise in numbers of same sex couples in America. From 2000, there has been a significant rise in the number of children living with same sex parents from 65,000 children to 110,000 children in 2012 (Gates, Badgett,Macomber&Chambers, 2007).
From the above statistics, it is clear that the issue of gay and lesbian adoption cannot be realistically ignored and neither can same sex couples be excluded from potential adoption parents’ category (Gates, Badgett,Macomber&Chambers, 2007). Despite this rise in the number of same sex adoption cases, many Americans, social workers and donor parents included, still have reservations on the same. Most experts may have questions about how those parents would bring up their adopted children and how the children’s future attitude towards their parent’s sexual orientation. There are concerns that the children may have challenges living with same sex parents such as feeling embarrassed or even being teased in school. Some people also feel that growing with homosexual parents may affect the children’s overall growth and development.
Homosexuals on the other hand feel that they have the right to adopt and they deserve to be given a chance to foster children without being discriminated against. Homosexuals tend to be discriminated against during foster children allocations. These conflicting ideas and perceptions have given rise to issues, which have been a source of numerous debates and even some that have even resulted in lawsuits.
What was done to resolve the controversy?
There have been numerous discussions and lawsuits. People have been using media and movements to create awareness as well as warm up the general public towards gay adoption. The latest attempt to resolve this controversy is a lawsuit filed by a Michigan lesbiancouple, April Deboar and Jayne Rowse. These two womenare parents to four kids, but according to Michigan law, only married couples are allowed to legally adopt children together (Fore, 2015). This was an issue since same sex marriage remains illegal in the state of Michigan hence the two women can only adopt the children separately, two kids each. The two women feel that this is not fair since it hinders them from playing their parental roles to the children adopted by the other partner (Fore, 2015). According to Deboar, the school has listed her as an emergency contact for her kids who are legally adopted by her partner Rowse. Consequently, she has to wait for Rowse to sign all official documents even though she is the kids’ parent just as much as her partner is.
What were the grounds for the verdict?
The case is yet to be ruled and it has been taken to the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court judges will need to decide if the constitution provides same sex couples with the right to marry, which the state Michigan could be violating. There are hopes that this case will help resolve the issue of gay marriage not just in Michigan but also in all 50 American states. In addition, the case will hopefully raise more awareness and increase support for gay and lesbian adoption.
Do you agree with the outcome, or would you have liked to see a more stringent or more lenient resolution? Why?
Deboar and Rowsehave gotten support from all American states (Fore, 2015). A success for the two women will be a win for the entire lesbian and gay community in America. Even if the case ruling will not be in their favor, Deboar and Rowse have had remarkable achievements in terms of raising awareness and getting support from all over America.
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