Adoption Option Guide

Your guide to a new parenting challenge.

08 Jul

Orientation Equality Remains Key Issue In Adoption Debate

Posted in Uncategorized on 08.07.13 by Merlyn

The government is clearly moving in the wrong direction,” says Roy Beyer, Edmonton president of the Canada Family Action Coalition (CFAC). “It’s breaking its promises.” Mr. Beyer fears that adoption rights will soon be accessible to members of any “loving and lasting relationship.” If two men can adopt a child, he points out, why not three or more of any gender combination? He believes “the unravelling of a basic societal norm has begun.

But Mr. Oberg defended his proposed changes as “consistent” with a Tory caucus decision March 18 which asserted that the government will not support adoption by homosexuals of children who are permanent wards of the Crown unless it benefits the child. Regarding private adoptions, the caucus also agreed the “Child Welfare Act will be amended to reflect what is in the best interests of the child.” Gay and lesbian adoptions, Mr. Oberg told reporters, will “probably not” impact the children being raised. Read more

adoptionBut the Tory caucus failed to define a child’s best interest. And Mark Genuis, executive director for the National Foundation for Family Research and Education, questions Mr. Oberg’s claim that homosexual parenting has no adverse effect on children. Research on the subject, Mr. Genuis argues, is scant and inadequate. “We’re opening up doors without knowing exactly what we’re getting into,” Mr. Genuis warns. “We should hold off until more information is available.

Holding off is the last thing on the minds of two pairs of Calgary lesbians who have launched a legal challenge to the adoption law. The trial, scheduled for June, will determine if two boys, ages four and 12, can be legally adopted by their biological mothers’ lesbian partners. Both children were born through artificial insemination with an unknown sperm donor.

Consistent with its new position on private adoption, the Klein government has withdrawn from the case. But the Alberta Federation of Women United for Families (AFWUF) has asked the Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench for status as an amicus curiae–a friend of the court–that will argue on behalf of the current legislation.

Gary Courtney, lawyer of the lesbians trying to change the law, accused AFWUF of using tax dollars to fund their agenda–an accusation that was immediately echoed by the media. “We’re obviously rather frustrated,” he told the Edmonton Journal on April 22, “that a group that’s on the right-wing edge of Alberta society could roar in and pick up the flag for the government who had already basically thrown in the towel.

AFWUF lawyer Gerald Chipeur dismisses Mr. Courtney’s accusations. “An amicus is traditionally funded by the court,” he emphasizes. Furthermore, an amicus does not argue in favour of a political agenda–right-wing or otherwise–but simply questions whether the law is constitutional. “Our role,” he says, “is to ensure that both sides of the argument are voiced.”

Mr. Klein appears to prefer a one-sided argument. On April 22, he told reporters that the government is responding to Albertans’ moral support for gay private adoptions. “What we’re doing is a reflection of their opinions,” he said moments before the caucus meeting that approved Mr. Oberg’s plan. But public opinion hardly matters to Mr. Klein. “I don’t think there’ll be too much reaction because we’ve already made the decision and we’ve made it a matter of policy,” he said.

In fact, the government’s own polls show anything but overwhelming support among Albertans for the gay agenda. According to the 1998 Alberta Justice Issues Research report, only 48% of the approximately 1,000 people surveyed agree that Alberta laws should treat gay Albertans the same in terms of marriage, adoptions and foster parenting. Fifty-eight percent still believe that a “family” consists of a heterosexual couple or a single parent with children. Only 42% subscribe to the notion that any pair or group will suffice.

Even among Mr. Klein’s Conservative supporters, 45% stated that the government should take a strong legal stand against homosexual adoption, foster parenting and marriages. Forty-four percent of those polled stated that the government should not obey the Supreme Court if it mandated gay marriage or adoption.

The few studies that do exist indicate that children raised by homosexual couples are impacted by their environment. According to the Family Research Institute, an organization affiliated with British Columbia’s Trinity Western University, 8.9% of children raised in gay households will become gay themselves, compared to only 2.4% of children from heterosexual households. And 29% of children raised by at least one homosexual parent reported having an incestuous relationship with their parent, compared to less than one percent of children raised by heterosexuals.

AFWUF president Hermina Dykxhoorn says the two cases in Calgary may not appear threatening to the public because the lesbian couples involved have been in long-term relationships, making those opposed to the adoption seem heartless. But Mrs. Dykxhoorn fears that if these women are successful, many other children will lose their right to have a mother and a father. “In the snap of a finger, everything may change,” she says. “If the government thinks gay activists will stop at private adoption, it’s very blind. No amount of giving in will satisfy their agenda.

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