THE BLOG
08/27/2008 10:20 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

McAdoption: Gay & Lesbian Adoption

Senator McCain: "I think that we've proven that both parents are important in the success of a family, so, no I don't believe in gay adoption."

We must leave behind opinions of convenience that exaggerate difference for political advantage. Senator McCain, himself an adoptive parent of Bridget - adopted from Bangladesh - does not believe in gay adoption. A man, in his second marriage, adopting his child from a different ethnicity and country; has the temerity to question the motivations of gays and lesbians, the same motivations of love that led to his family's decision to adopt. Senator McCain does not have to search in order to believe in gay adoption because its happening all across the country and world.

Perhaps he meant to say, he does not believe gay families should be able to adopt. A more pernicious message to be sure, one that insinuates intolerance. Instead Senator McCain would have adoptable youth in foster care languish as they moved from home to home to home; school to school. Until they emancipate at age eighteen, ill-prepared to meet the challenges of the world. Annually 20,000 foster youth emancipate at 18 into other social welfare programs as teen moms, into jails, or into low wage jobs with no health care. This is the logical extension for many youth that would otherwise find a loving adoptive permanent home in foster care; he is denying the right of every child to have a loving permanent adoptive home.

And what facts does the Senator cite for condemning the otherwise adoptable youth to a sentence of 0 - 18 in foster care? Who proved what? And where was I? Many studies document that youth adopted or fostered by same-sex parents fare equally to those adopted or festered by opposite sex parents. The essential ingredient of two parents has been demonstrated to be more important than their genders or sexual orientations. Two parents help nurture, provide guidance an oversight, and more resources for the youth.

What I can prove through countless studies, and publications, is that foster youth emancipating at eighteen are in desperate need of a loving home before they reach that age; what I can prove is that the foster care system is in crisis from under-funding, too few foster homes, and the burden of piecing families back together; and what I can prove is that foster youth that stay in the system have the poorest educational achievement statistics of any other demographic.

My family fell through a hole in the social safety welfare net, and we lived at the bottom of that hole for years. The hole exists today, and so many families are falling down into its ill-defined depths. Such is the life of poverty and homelessness for millions of Americans, and hundreds of thousands of foster youth. Foster youth, filling beyond the exaggerated limits of our capacity to house them, are bursting with the desire to be loved, to be home, and to be part of a family.

With one mother, my siblings and I wandered the streets till age eleven. Then, I wandered often alone until age seventeen through foster care. Emancipating, I was fortunate to have a community of support and siblings to make it safely to adulthood. So many foster youth do not make it; they have no one. Anyone condemning the youths to this life, first must face up to these young people, and tell them to their face, 'because of my bigotry, I am denying you your God-given right to a loving, permanent adoptive home.'

One state, Florida, has codified this hateful insanity (denying Gays and Lesbians the right to foster parent, and adopt) into law. Florida, the only state in our union, the only territory for that matter, remains alone having taken such a hate-filled stance to bar gay adoption. This position bespeaks of hating children.

Never mind the insanity of denying the right of the child the loving, permanent adoptive home, this policy enshrines hate. If driving down a desert road one came across a dehydrated person, but decided not to offer them a sip of water because of its warm temperature, it'd be a horrible thing. You cannot offer them your water, because, after al its not ice cold, its just room temp tap water in a reusable bottle. Insanity. Our foster care system is dying of thirst, and any loving individual that meets the criteria for adopting should be allowed to do so without respect to their sexual orientation.

Unlike the awakening of America to inclusion and non-discrimination towards the Gay & Lesbian community, McCain remains stuck in the earlier part of the twentieth century. His position was very clear when asked in March 2000 about gay adoption, McCain responded that he didn't "believe it's appropriate." (San Francisco Examiner, March 1, 2000; www.thinkprogress.org). Like many things we should leave behind in the 20th century, we must leave behind the hate that necessitated decades of civil rights movements; we must leave behind the ignorance that led to the crucification of a young man in Wyoming; we must leave behind opinions of convenience that exaggerate difference for political advantage.