"Not To Give A Child To A" Pervert "": Where And How LGBT Couples Are Not Allowed To Adopt Children

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"Not To Give A Child To A" Pervert "": Where And How LGBT Couples Are Not Allowed To Adopt Children
"Not To Give A Child To A" Pervert "": Where And How LGBT Couples Are Not Allowed To Adopt Children
Video: "Not To Give A Child To A" Pervert "": Where And How LGBT Couples Are Not Allowed To Adopt Children
Video: Homosexuality: It's about survival - not sex | James O'Keefe | TEDxTallaght 2023, February

Often for same-sex couples, adoption - the easiest, and sometimes the only available way to become parents. However, in many countries, same-sex families are still prohibited from adopting children. Some people manage to get around the prohibitions, but for this they have to overcome enormous difficulties. We tell how couples around the world are trying to have children and what is stopping them.


Yulia dudkina


In June, a 12-year-old boy was admitted to a Moscow hospital with suspected appendicitis. During the examination, the child told the doctors that he used to live in an orphanage: his biological parents were prone to alcoholism and themselves abandoned their son. But now he has two dads at once, "who always sleep in the same bed." The doctors at the Moscow hospital decided that the child's story was a reason to go to the police. After that, the guardianship authorities came to the LGBT couple who adopted the child, and later they were summoned for interrogation. It turned out that Andrey and Eugene are indeed an LGBT couple. They got married in Europe, but according to Russian law, their marriage is invalid, so officially they are both bachelors. Andrei adopted two boys, and they, together with a partner, raised them.

After this incident, for the first time in history, a criminal case was opened in Russia due to the adoption of a child by a same-sex couple. The Investigative Committee of Russia accused the employees of the Maryino department of social protection of the fact that they "did nothing to protect children from information harmful to them." Law enforcers believe that Andrei, the father of the boys, "promotes non-traditional relationships" and forms in his sons "distorted ideas about family values, harming their health, moral and spiritual development."

Formally, no one broke the law in this situation. In Russia, an unmarried person has the right to become a foster parent, and Andrei, the father of boys, is really not married by Russian standards. At the same time, the Department of Labor and Social Protection of Moscow knew that both boys grew up in good conditions, played sports and went to rest. However, when the authorities opened a case against the social security department, the LGBT couple was searched. The whole family was on vacation abroad at that moment, and today it is not known whether the two men will return home with their children.

Hrecently adopted in Germany (2017), Finland (2017), Austria (2016). In the US, it has been universally permitted since 2015, in the UK since 2005, and in Sweden since 2003. Today it can be done legally and without restrictions in 26 countries.

Although in Russia an unmarried person can adopt a child regardless of orientation, in fact it is quite difficult to do this. There is a risk that the adoption committee will refer to the "gay propaganda law" and refuse. Nevertheless, the story of Andrey and Eugene is not the only one of its kind. In 2016, gay activist Yegor Ovchinnikov told how he managed to become a father despite the laws and homophobia of the commission members.

The man was going to raise the child himself - without a partner. He went through the school of adoptive parents, prepared documents and received an opinion from the guardianship authorities that he was ready to become an adoptive father. But later, at the adoption committee, they began to ask him questions related to his gay activism and interviews that he gave to LGBT publications. “The judge talked to me like a criminal,” Yegor recalled. - I then realized that they do not care about the child. It is important not to screw up and not give the child to the 'pervert'."

Egor was going to adopt a boy with HIV infection and a heart defect - he was worried that there would be no other adoptive parents, because many are trying to take children into the family who do not need serious medical care.Having received a refusal from the commission, he entered into a fictitious marriage with a girlfriend, removed all materials with his last name from the Internet, and underwent psychological testing. He eventually got permission and took the boy home.


With defects on the face

In recent years, there are fewer orphans in Chinese orphanages: the country's economic level is growing, and until recently the state had a policy of “one family - one child,” which reduced the birth rate. And yet, today there are about 410 thousand wards in orphanages in the PRC. Compared to previous figures, this is a small figure; two years ago, there were a hundred thousand more babies left behind. But there is a serious difficulty - more than 90% of children in Chinese homes live with disabilities. Because of this, their chances of finding a family are very small.

There are several international programs in the world that help orphans find parents in other countries. One of them is CCAI Adoption. Its employees regularly bring dozens of children from China to the United States and introduce them to people who dream of a child. About 80% of orphans who go through this program find parents and stay in the States.

When Hu got into this program, he was four years old. According to statistics, starting from this age, his chances of adoption should have sharply decreased: since the children go out of infancy, the adoptive parents become much less interested in them. In addition, Hu was born with squint and deformity of the feet. The employees of the orphanage where he was were were sure that he would never have new parents.

In the winter of 2016, the boy, along with three dozen other Chinese orphans, went to the United States for three weeks; the organization's employees met with potential parents from different cities and introduced them to Hu. They also took the boy to American doctors: they decided to get a certificate stating that his features were not associated with any genetic diseases.

China has banned the adoption of children by unmarried people, those who recently got married, people "overweight", those who are taking medication for anxiety and, among others, LGBT people

Despite all the efforts, none of the potential adoptive parents dared to accept the boy. A couple of days before Hu was supposed to head back to China, social worker Julie took him to a swimming pool for a class. It was there that Melissa Castro Wiatt saw him.

Castro Wiatt is an American writer and journalist. By the time she met Hu, she already had a son - also with a deformity of the feet. “My wife and I decided to use artificial insemination,” Wyatt wrote. - We were afraid to take the child from the orphanage: we thought he might have health problems that we do not know about. Ironically, we couldn't predict everything. When our son was little, we went to the doctors a lot, and he slept in special struts. But I realized that this is normal. My son taught me that parenting is unpredictable and beautiful, and all that remains is to relax and enjoy."

Seeing a little boy from China, Wyatt immediately counted in her head how much it would cost to maintain another child and whether she had enough money to bypass the doctors again. And then she asked the social worker: "Have they already taken him into the family?" Hearing the answer, Wyatt thought that this boy was sent to her by fate.

The story could have ended well, but while playing with Hu in the pool, Melissa remembered that she knew about Chinese adoption laws. In 2007, the state tightened the rules and banned unmarried people from becoming adoptive parents, those who recently got married, people who are "overweight", those who take medication for anxiety or depression, as well as people "with facial defects" and, in among others, LGBT people.

Among the countries where adoption of children for same-sex couples is still banned, Italy, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia and more.However, in Italy, some couples are allowed to adopt children in exceptional cases (when the court decides that it is in the best interests of the child)

Hu and the social worker flew back to China. Melissa wrote to her: maybe the guardianship authorities will make an exception for her? After all, the boy has health difficulties and she - Melissa - is ready to deal with them. But she relayed an official response from the adoption agency: under no circumstances will a woman who is in a same-sex marriage become the foster mother of a child from China.

A new adoption law passed in 2007 has left many children without families. In 2006, 6.5 thousand children from China received documents to stay in the United States with their new parents. By 2014, the number of children leaving for foster families in the States had dropped to two thousand.

China and Russia are far from the only countries where adoption of children for LGBT people is prohibited or complicated. For example, in most African countries, approximately the same law operates as in Russia: a formally single person can become an adoptive parent regardless of orientation, but same-sex marriage is not officially allowed, and adoption is virtually impossible due to homophobia. In Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya, adoption of children by same-sex couples is clearly prohibited - like any manifestation of homosexuality. For example, in Nigeria, you can go to jail for having sex with a person of your gender.

In exceptional cases, conservative laws can be circumvented. For example, in 2018, a same-sex male couple from Singapore adopted a child, to whom one of the partners was the biological father. In Singapore, not only the adoption of children by gay couples is prohibited, but also homosexual relationships in general, so this case is one of a kind.

Today, the vast majority of studies confirm: children

gay couples are just as happy as heterosexual couples

James and Sean have been dating for many years. Together they helped babysit Sean's nephew when he was little, and realized that both wanted children. They studied Singapore laws many times, consulted with fellow lawyers. It turned out that an unmarried man can formally adopt a child - but only a boy and only if the man is not gay. “We didn't want to hide our relationship,” says James. She and her partner decided to turn to the services of a surrogate mother abroad: it seemed to them that if one of them was the biological father of the child, it would help bypass the strict law.

In 2012, they turned to an American agency that helps with surrogacy. In 2013, they flew to Los Angeles together and in the same year returned home with their son, Noel.

At first, James thought that his son would be granted Singapore citizenship immediately. But it turned out that according to the law, Noel is "illegitimate." In Singapore, if a child appears out of legal marriage, his biological parents cannot act as full fledged guardians until they are officially adopted. They cannot enter into inheritance rights or acquire the citizenship of their parents. Instead of citizenship, Noel was given a long-term pass to the territory of the country, which had to be regularly renewed.

In 2014, James decided to rectify the situation and applied for the adoption of Noel. Until 2017, the district court could not make a decision, and then James was refused. The judge who made the decision argued that it was not related to the orientation of the men, but there were no other apparent reasons. Until 2018, the two partners sought to change the decision, and it was only when they appealed to the Singapore Supreme Court that James was allowed to adopt his own son. At the same time, the Singapore authorities emphasized that such a decision is an exception to the rule. In the future, the laws will be toughened so that such precedents do not arise.The Minister of Social and Family Development of Singapore explained that the authorities still discourage same-sex marriage and adoption of children, and they went to James and Sean only so as not to spoil their son's life.


Adoption crisis

However, even in countries where homosexual couples are officially allowed to adopt children, this is often problematic. For example, in the United States, same-sex marriage and adoption are generally legal. But some states have laws that allow agencies to deny adoptive parents for religious reasons. Basically, these are the states of the so-called Christian belt - this is the most conservative part of the United States with the largest number of church people. Among them are Texas, Virginia, Mississippi and seven other states. Formally, same-sex couples in these regions can apply to adoption agencies, but the agencies almost always refuse them, using laws that legitimize homophobia.

Christie and Dana from Michigan started thinking about a child in 2016 - by that time they had been together for eleven years. They constantly received letters from orphanages by mail - they contained photographs of children and requests to donate money for their maintenance. The women decided that they could help not only by means - they themselves are ready to take the child into foster care. But it turned out that the agencies did not need such help.

“Thousands of children are losing the opportunity to find a family because adoption agencies are turning down gay couples,” said Christie and Dana Dumont, two Michigan women. "Thirteen thousand children in our state are awaiting adoption, but two agencies refused to work with us because we did not fit their religious beliefs."

Laws allowing agencies to deny LGBT families were relatively recent - for example, discrimination was “allowed” in Mississippi in 2016. According to the American media, intolerance is costly: every child who is taken from the orphanage to the family cuts the budget by $ 29,000 a year. At the same time, same-sex families are the main clients of adoption agencies. In Texas, where "religious law" has been in effect since 2017, customer churn was 40%. NBC News predicts that soon orphanages may be overcrowded and this will lead to an "adoption crisis."

More similarities, than the differences

Most often, those who oppose the adoption of children by same-sex couples use the same arguments: as if the parents in such a family can influence the child's sexual orientation and prevent the formation of his gender identity. Another popular argument is, "He will be bullied at school."

But today the vast majority of studies confirm that children in same-sex couples are no less happy than in heterosexual ones. In 2013, the Center for Family Research at the University of Cambridge conducted an experiment involving 130 foster families. Among them were 41 gay families, 40 lesbian families and 49 heterosexual families.

Scientists visited families, asked them to fill out questionnaires, conducted interviews and filmed how parents play with their children. They wanted to find out how the gender of the parents affects the well-being of children, their communication with peers and relationships within the family.

Adoption of children same-sex couples may soon be allowed in Chile, Czech Republic and Hungary; in 2019, this issue was discussed in the Senate of the countries

“Overall, there were more similarities than differences between different families,” the study authors wrote. The vast majority of children from same-sex families said that they have no difficulties in school and they do not have to hide the homosexuality of their parents. The emotional state of the children and the sexual orientation of the parents were not connected.

If the researchers found a noticeable difference in anything, it was in the emotional state of the parents. Gay partners had significantly fewer depressive symptoms than lesbians and heterosexuals.Perhaps this is due to the fact that men have a lower propensity for depression in general, due to, among other things, social factors. However, in both lesbian and heterosexual couples, the level of depression was generally within the normal range.

In 2010, scientists from the American Academy of Pediatrics conducted a survey among adolescents 10 and 17 years old. All study participants lived with lesbian mothers and were conceived using artificial insemination. 78 teenagers voluntarily participated in the polls - it turned out that their level of academic performance was higher than the average for American teenagers, and the level of conflict and aggression was lower.

Photos: Gstudio Group - stock.adobe.com (1, 2, 3)

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