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March 28, 2016

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The real issue is, there are a plethora of children in foster care without permanent homes. Adding gay couples to the mix of hetero couples who are seeking to adopt these children reduces that number of children in foster care, so yes, it's in the best interests of the child...

I am both a conservative Christian and an adoptive parent. This issue is important to me. That being said, I have a hard time disagreeing with RagTime. There are more children waiting to be adopted than there are adoptive parents.

I am a Christian and a psychologist who is very concerned about the changing views towards homosexuality as morally acceptable. As a clinical psychologist and professor, I am quite aware of research in this area, and can examine it with careful scrutiny because I understand research methods, statistics, and philosophy. I know many studies support (via correlational data) the best outcomes for children from intact, monogomous, 2-parent homes. However, most of these studies compared such children to children from divorced, single-parent households, and, to a much smaller extent, same-sex households. Thus, many in academia will reply that there are too few studies looking at same-sex households to make any definitive conclusions. And, of those studies of same-sex couples, the slighly poorer outcomes of children are likely due to societal stigma against homosexuality (so it is argued). I may be wrong and unfamiliar with research that you are aware of, but I believe that it is difficult to argue, based on the research alone, that children with same-sex parents have poorer outcomes. (There may be some bigger differences in terms of acceptance of homosexuality, which I would agree is a poorer outcome, but many would say that it is not.)

I'm not sure why Christians should favor gay adoption over foster care. I see a lot of Christians asserting this and I'm surprised that no one ever questions the assumption behind it. The assumption is that living as an adopted child of a gay couple is significantly superior to foster care, but I'm not sure that's true.

JRR mentions that a child raised by homosexual parents is probably more likely to be accepting of homosexuality. And this isn't just a matter of "I don't like homosexuality and, therefore, I don't like that a child will be accepting of homosexuality." The homosexual lifestyle has a much higher risk of STDs and mental disorder. So it's not merely a concern with the child accepting a worldview that we disagree with, but with a child accepting a worldview that is significantly unhealthy.

One argument as to why children would do better in a gay adoptive home instead of foster care has to do with all the studies in which children do better in a monogamous 2 parent home, as JRR mentions. But JRR points out that there are problems with trying to make that argument in regards to homosexual households (poor sample size, poor comparison, etc.) Another issue is that a very significant number of homosexual households are not monogamous in the traditional sense. And the households are always going to be missing either a mother or a father.

Also what are the criterion of flourishing that a Christian should be concerned with? Is it a 1-to-1 correlation with the criterion being measured by psychologists? We don't just want children who perform well at school, for instance. Character and values may be more important than whether the child is good at algebra. If a child is nurtured into a worldview that undermines the basic structure of the family, which is itself a basic building block of society, then the damage may be far greater in the long term than if the child has a harder time socialize with peers.

If you told me that I could choose between (1) having my child get along great with his peers, have excellent emotional stability, and excel at school but have a worldview that will contribute to the collapse of Western society and Christian values or (2) having my child find it more difficult on average to get along with his peers, struggle with emotional stability, and struggle with school but be a solid Christian who lives every day to make a significant positive impact on society and preserve Western civilization... I would probably choose option (2).

I know people who have struggled significantly with making friends during their childhood and struggled so much with school that they ended up dropping out. Yet their quality of life as adults and their positive impact on their community--owing to their worldview and values--is far superior than other people I know who were great at making friends in school (they were some of the most popular people) and did fine academically.

If you told me that I could choose between (1) having my child get along great with his peers, have excellent emotional stability, and excel at school but have a worldview that will contribute to the collapse of Western society and Christian values or (2) having my child find it more difficult on average to get along with his peers, struggle with emotional stability, and struggle with school but be a solid Christian who lives every day to make a significant positive impact on society and preserve Western civilization... I would probably choose option (2).

Cool story, A+. You should tell that to the family court judge if you ever try to adopt, (s)he'll fall in love with you.

Phillip,

Cool story, A+. You should tell that too... oh wait, nobody cares. :)

He mentions research about the importance of both male and female parents in the home. Any idea where these studies can be found? I'm sure that they exist, I'd just like to take a look at them since they seem to be the critical point to his argument.

Matt,

A lot of them are mentioned in the book What is Marriage? by Anderson, Goerge, and Girgis. I don't recall exactly, but I think most of these studies are discussed in chapter 4--maybe some sprinkled throughout.

Any idea where these studies can be found?

Matt, see here and here.

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