Saturday, March 30, 2002

gay adoption
about 2 weeks ago, a handsome young man residing somewhere to the west of here wrote some of his thoughts about the Diane Sawyer interview of Rosie ODonnel and the gay adoption lawsuit in Florida. I saw the show that night; in fact, I had just watched The Laramie Project on HBO2 just prior to the airing of Rosie's interview. So, her occasional derisions of "the gay activists" was nearly as annoying as Sawyer's poor handling of the interview of the stupid Florida Legislator. Reading HCL's blog the next day made me sad, and reminded me of my anger about the issue; but I wanted to give it some time to absorb.

First, some perspective. Two adults with differing sets of genitals can make a baby, and no one can interfere, period. Boom, they have a child. They can be drug addicts, cannibals, people who don't recycle, whatever, but no one can stop them from having a baby, period. That's nature, and there's no point in trying to get around that. (And taking children away from bad legal parents is quite difficult). If you don't fit that criteria, but want a child, it's trickier, of course. Two women have a better change of having a child, since one can get pregant, but 2 guys have to go completely outside their relationship to have a child.

Now, having said all that, it's also important to know that I don't think having a child is/should be necesarily considered a right. If you have the physical ability to do it, I don't want the government interfering too much with that, but, if you don't, and we're talking adoption, then I agree with the principle of "best interest of the child". But when government does get involved, as it must, it must set fair and reasonable criteria to meet the "best interests of the child." It should be rigorous and thorough in it's investigation of anyone foster-parenting or adopting. And that's where the Florida law fails, and fails miserably.

The creep on the Diane Sawyer Show, Rep. Ball, kept talking about this whole 2 differently gendered parents as this ideal. It's really about sex, and discomfort with queers. Rosie did keep hammering away at that issue, and I give her credit for being so clear and thorough about the unsaid issue - what about the kid's seeing you have sex? It's inapprorpiate for any parent to be sexual in front of children. Period. And he was left pretty much unchallenged by Sawyer, not delving into why there must be two, and why they must be of different genders. And while I used to be one of those folks who, if pushed, would say, "sure, good mom and good dad is better" I don't know if I agree with that so much anymore. I know lots of folks have grown up fine with single parents, but, to be honest, I think 2 good parents is better than one good parent. So I think my hierarchy, if I had to choose, would be 2 over single, but I wouldn't make a distinction over whether the 2 are the same or different genders, but if in a committed, life-time relationship, as MARRIAGE (if we had that!) is, then there's where I would go.

But, Florida allows single-parent adoption! And that's where these guys are shown as just bigoted butt-fucks! If it's ok to adopt as a single parent, how can 2 parents be inferior and unacceptable???? But Sawyer didn't call him on it, because asking reasonable logical questions isn't what a journalist does, right? And this is what made me sad about HCL's post. "I am NOT a role model for gays. " and Rosie was pretty much saying that she is a gay parent role-model. (And I have no reason to doubt that perhaps she is) I just hate this prooving we are BETTER in order to be treated fairly and equally crap that queers and other minorities seem to have to go through so often. WHY THE FUCK DO YOU HAVE TO BE A ROLE MODEL??? ya just got to be a good parent! Children do not need "perfect" parents-they need one or more caring and committed individuals willing to meet their needs and to incorporate them into a nurturing family environment. (yes, I lifted that last line from some single-parent adoption site, but it says it well, I think). Plenty of parents have their "flaws" - lots of parents drink, smoke dope, have affairs, and while I wouldn't advise doing those things necessarily if taking care of a child, I don't think you have to become a perfect person first before having children. It is the committment to doing whatever you have to. And it's a lot of hard work (they tell me), but I can't imagine anything more rewarding!

I have 2 siblings who have kids, and everytime I see them, I just see this wonderful world view from them. I just look at them as these amazing optimists, who chose to have several kids, because they love life so much. To me, if you see life as this wonderful journey, where you meet great people, learn fantastic things, experience deep emotions, and care about helping another person enjoy that, by teaching, and nuturing, and guiding, and crying and holding, and listening, and just being there, then, go for it. It's the scariest thing that you could do; and it should be scarey, cuz you gotta do it well. Not perfect, just well.