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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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10/11/11  4:19 pm
Commenter: Roger Ritenour

Non Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Religious Affiliation

First of all, I support non-discrimination protection in the regulations for adoption in all forms as proposed in the regulation. Any discrimination reduces the pool of eligible adoptive parents for countless children in need of a family and increases the probability that a child will have to grow up without a loving family.

But considering the focus here that has suspended this regulation for public comment has appeared to center on gay adoption. All relevant scientific and medical opinion has rendered the claim that LGBT parents are inferior has been determined in the Florida case as lacking merit and therefore eliminates the merit of any argument for denying an adoption based on sexual orientation.  Often discrimination based on sexual orientation has been justified based on the argument that the gay lifestyle is a free choice. Science says otherwise. Common sense tells us, “Why would such a large segment of our population make such an apparently self-destructive choice.” The answer is; that they would not if it were truly a free choice. The same is true for a child in an LGBT family. That child will grow up as who they are and will hardly be influenced by their parents in the regard of sexual orientation. The only difference in a child reared in an LGBT family from that in a traditional family is likely that child will likely grow up with a greater degree of tolerance for diversity (most people would not consider that a bad thing).

On religious affiliation, it is a free choice.  I do not advocate discrimination against religious affiliation and in most cases, it is irrelevant. A baby reared in a religious family hardly has any adverse impact on the child’s upbringing. However, in the case of an adoption of a child old enough to have his or her own religious affiliation, it could be problematic if the adoptive parents are of a completely different religion. The same can be argued as true in the case of LGBT adoption only if the adopted child has already been steeped in the traditions of bigotry. This can be a problem for any form of non-discriminatory adoption and I believe that competent social workers can work out compatibility issues like this without resorting to blanket discriminatory practices.

Anecdotal evidence: (I know this doesn’t prove much, but people like anecdotes.) A person I know adopted a troubled child at age 9 as a single parent (the adoption was not in Virginia). He is gay. He struggled with that child’s upbringing. The child grew up, joined the military, became a member of an elite sniper unit and has since served with distinction in Iraq. Today that child is a young man pursuing his own life with his girlfriend as a productive member of society. Where this child would have ended up without the adoption? Perhaps a life of crime? No one can really tell; but it is hard to argue against the outcome of the adoption.

CommentID: 20719