Jumping in the Big Pond


Amy has opened the book on the Boston Catholic Charities and great gay adoption adventure. The commentariat isn’t far behind. I said my piece there already, and besides, my readers here are well aware of what emphasis I place on adoption.

I confess when the conspiracy theories get trotted out, it is very hard to take the discussion seriously:

And there would not be an issue if it weren’t for our state’s Lavender Dictatorship for there are a half dozen other agencies here which will give children to gay applicants–the only reason gays would go to Catholic Charities would be in the hopes of using it as one more front to undermine Catholic moral teaching.

Let’s see here … adopt a child, make a lifelong commitment of relationship. Feed, clothe, educate, and entertain a kid until he or she goes off to college. Right: gay people just want to adopt to shake up the pot. Lots of less expensive ways to make a point.

Then there’s the example of “My Personal Experience With the Injustice of Black People and Adoption”

To point to a specific tragedy caused by this policy: here in Indiana a white foster mother asked to adopt black twins that she’d cared for for the first two years of their lives. The black caseworker immediately yanked the children from her home and placed them for adoption with a “step-cousin” without observing several legal requirements. The male “step-cousin” starved and beat the little boy to death, severely brain-damaged the little girl. He’s doing time but the agenda-driven social worker got a handslap.

Let’s see here … one tragedy read about in the local paper implies Boston too is a cauldron for unfairness and bias and child neglect. A single experience forms a conscience.

The ever-present Rich is ready to remind me that:

With couples going to China and Eastern Europe to adopt children, that’s as false a dichotomy as you will find.

Actually, couples (even –gasp!–gay couples) are going to China and Eastern Europe to adopt mostly infants and toddlers. 127,000 waiting in line domestically to get adopted. Do you have your home study completed, Rich? Or have you booked your flight overseas?

And the CDF’s recent consideration of the subject is hardly a “footnote” or afterthought; it’s part of a comprehensive seven-page document on homosexuality and the nature of marriage under the heading From the biological and anthropological order.

I’m aware of that, pal. But the document doesn’t treat the needs of children who have no parents. It talks about homosexuality and the nature of marriage, as you say. Adoption isn’t unrelated–I’ve never said that. Adoption deserves a central treatment in a CDF document, comprende? When the CDF wants to take a hard look at the issue from the child’s point of view, then I’ll give it a serious read. Till then, it’s a work in progress. No more, no less.

As I said to Amy’s commentariat, 127,000 American kids are waiting to be adopted. Right now. If a gay couple who has been certified, home studied, and the whole nine yards is going to take a child nobody else wants, my suggestion would be that it’s sinful to stop it.

I’ve never disputed the Church’s right to screen adoptive parents for children in its care. Neither has any other serious voice in this debate. But let’s get our heads out of fairy tale land when we talk about foster care and kids waiting to be adopted. One open book commentator sounds brave to me:

But if, in my untimely demise, I had to select for my own children to either live with loving, but homosexual parents or to live in foster care…I would probably pick foster care.

Let me clue you in, and I’ve known many foster parents, and some foster kids: living in foster care is no picnic. You might think it’s like temporary adoption without the legal custody. And don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the four foster homes my daughter was raised in before she came to us. We met three of those couples: nice folks, loving and decent and heroic in my thinking. However, I had serious issues with one of them, and trust me: you don’t want your orphaned children going through what our daughter experienced. If you think foster homes are an acceptable long-term alternative for a child who has a shot at adoption, words can’t express my assessment of your ignorance. And that includes the CDF.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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