As someone who is looking to adopt a child, an article in yesterday's on-line edition of the New York Times caught my attention: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/29/us/for-bishops-a-battle-over-whose-rights-prevail.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1325156497-Gm8n9Y4J/YP9q0xeaG2LJw
It seems Catholic Charities--a leading agency for domestic adoptions in the US is closing up shop in some states--including Illinois--rather than comply with new requirements to place children with same-sex couples. Church leaders claim their right to practice the tenets of their faith--in this case, that homosexuality is a sin--is being quashed by the states--which claim gays should have the same access to adoption as anyone else.
As usual in this battle between two Goliaths, it is the very people that who actually need the help of both that are caught in the crossfire. Catholic Charities is an important partner with many states in serving children caught in the foster care system--who are considered very difficult to place with new families--who prefer newborns who don't come with as much "baggage" as an older child who has lived in several homes growing up. So how does alienating the Church-run program help either the state or the kids?
But the Church is just as myopic. I have seen same-sex couples parenting their kids. A gay couple was part of our adoption education program at Lutheran Social Services--and believe me, they are much better equipped to handle raising a child than the vast majority of heterosexual couples that I've seen with children. And isn't goal of an adoption or foster care program to remove children from abusive, neglectful situations and place them with two people who will love them, care for them and provide them with what is needed to be a sucessful adult in our society--regardless of which body parts those parents have between their legs?
As a private entity, the Catholic Church reserves the right to serve whomever it wants. And the state is right that same-sex couples are no threat to the health or well-being of children. Let's try to figure out some way to make two rights into a third right--instead of choosing to make two rights into a horrible wrong.