This past weekend I presented the workshop, "Homosexuality: Always God's Children" at the Credo retreat. We did not have time for the Q&A portion of the workshop, so the questions will be answered here during the next week or two.
Q. Should homosexual couples be allowed to adopt children?
A. Adoption should always be first and foremost concerned with what is best for the children. Adoption can be a beautiful gift to children who are welcomed and loved into a new family, but there is always still a loss experienced -- that of one's birth family. So, the structure of adoption should be centered on serving and loving the children who have experienced this loss.
We discussed the other day some of the challenges associated with being raised by two people of the same sex. I also mentioned a study by Dr. Mark Regnerus that looks at some of the differences between being raised by same-sex parents, single parents and married parents. You can view a summary of his findings here.
No one has the right to a child. Jennifer Roback Morse from the Ruth Institute says that adoption should be about giving children the parents they need, not about giving parents the children they want.
What do children need? They need a married mother and father. Through the unity and difference of a husband and wife, their love is naturally fruitful. It doesn't collapse in on itself or become stagnant. Rather, their love grows and seeks to love even more. When children are welcomed into this environment, they begin to know that they are good because they exist, not because of what they do, how they make their parents feel, etc. Marriage provides a unique opportunity for children to learn the goodness of their existence.
If a loving, married couple, then, is uniquely qualified to give children what they need, then is a same-sex couple giving children what they need or providing themselves (the couple) with what they want? It would appear that the best interest of the child is not held most sacred because countless studies and personal experience have revealed the importance of having both mother and father.
Already, some archdioceses, like Boston, have had to stop facilitating adoptions because of state laws that require them to place children with same-sex couples. (You can read more on that here.)
The Church cannot promote the adoption of children by same-sex couples because the Church seeks what is best for us, her children.