How living with same-sex parents affects a child’s mental health?
So now that we’ve concluded that having gay parents doesn’t disadvantage a child in any way, let’s deal with another argument against same-sex adoption; children with gay parents will grow up to be gay. So firstly, sexuality is not a choice so it won’t affect their sexuality at all. And secondly, there’s nothing wrong with a child being gay, so it doesn’t matter what the child’s sexuality turns out to be. If the child were gay, however, at least the child would know that they are guaranteed to be accepted by their parents and treated with no homophobia towards them, however, you cannot guarantee this with heterosexual parents. There are plenty of children of heterosexual couples who are gay, so they clearly weren’t ‘influenced’ by their parents’ sexualities, so why would a child of homosexual parents be affected by their parents’ sexualities? Actually, a child growing up with same-sex parents will be more aware of diversity, and this will make them more open-minded and accepting than children who have heterosexual parents and have only ever experienced same-sex parenting. A paper published in 2007 in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry said that “28 out of 46 adults with at least one gay parent spontaneously offered that they felt they were more open-minded and empathetic than people who were raised in a traditional heterosexual home.”. In a very diverse world, this will hugely benefit them.
All in all, even with all possible negative factors accounted for, a child living with gay parents is always going to be better for the child than them staying in foster care with no real family. Studies show that long-term foster care leads to emotional problems, delinquency, substance abuse, and academic problems. As most straight couples prefer to have their own child, 91% of married straight couples in America to be exact, rather than adopting a child, this means that the 100,000 or so children in foster care that need to be adopted are not able to all be adopted by opposite-sex couples. This is where gay couples and their lacking ability to have biological children step in- thanks to them there are an estimated 22,000 children who’ve been adopted living with gay parents in America and another estimated 2 million LGBT couples interested in adopting. In the UK homosexual couples also take on the responsibility of adopting children from foster care, with one in every seven adoptive parents in 2016 being a gay couple. However, as the number of homosexual couples adopting has risen higher than it’s ever been before, the number of heterosexual adoptions has decreased in Britain from around 5,000 in 2013-2014 to just over 3,500 in 2015-2016. This means that adoption agencies and fostered children are relying on homosexual couples more than ever now and if the trend continues, then I’m sure they will continue to adopt more and more children, all while fulfilling their passion of having a child.
So there’s no reason why adoptive homosexual couples should be treated any differently to adoptive heterosexual couples. People of the LGBT community have faced challenges and obstacles which threatened to tear them down for just being themselves for decades, and now is the time for that to change. My hope is that future generations and society as a whole will become more educated and accepting of the LGBT community and their right to adopt.