Thursday, November 15, 2018

LGBT Couples Are Told They Can't Adopt

It’s been three years since The Supreme Court first recognized gay marriage.  You would think with legalized same-sex marriage in the U.S., LGBT couples would automatically be able to adopt.  Not so!

It is estimated that 8-10 million children are being raised in gay and lesbian households.  As of 2016, LGBTQ adoption was made legal in fifty states yet restrictions were put on couples this year.  By allowing publicly funded adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples because of the agencies’ religious beliefs or convictions, they deny placement to LGBT couples.  Ten states currently allow this denial.  At least three states (Kansas, Oklahoma, and Michigan) have pending lawsuits against The Department of Health and Human Services.

Same-sex couples are six times more likely than heterosexual couples to be raising foster children.  LGBT +couples are four times more likely to have an adopted child than heterosexual couples.  Yet, the couples are turned away from agencies that receive taxpayer money because of their moral or religious convictions.

Unfortunately, the U.S. Children’s Bureau reports that the statistics for foster care have risen annually since 2012.  Yet, the efforts of same-sex couples can be stymied by the whims of the religious, not unlike the Colorado baker who wouldn’t bake a wedding cake for a same-sex wedding.

The policy, like others, is not LGBT-friendly. Couples, whether straight or LGBT, have to prove that they are worthy of adopting and providing a good home.  They are interviewed, reveal their financial status, have home studies where a social worker comes to your home to ascertain if your home is safe, clean, whatever.  And you wait until you are chosen.

You have to really want to parent to comply with adoption agencies’ rules.  We all know straight parents who have given birth to a surprise child.  Those parents are not put through microscopes and had their motives for wanting children questioned.

Consider the benefits of Same-sex adoption:

Married same-sex couples tend to have higher incomes.  The income of male couples was more than that of straight couples and female couples.  –
NBC News, March 5, 2018
According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, a think tank for research on sexual orientation and gender identity law and public policy, same-sex couples who adopt children are more diverse in socio-economic status and ethnicity.
The Review of Research Prepared for American Sociological Association Amicus Brief in U.S.: Studies reveal that children raised in same-sex parent families fare just as well as children raised in different sex parent marriages.
A University of S.C. Study concluded that kids with lesbian or gay parents show more empathy for social diversity are less confined by gender stereotypes, e.g. Zach Wahls raised by two lesbian mothers in Iowa.  He is now a Democratic Senator in that state.

With over 400,00 children in foster care and LGBT couples willing to adopt, why humiliate and discriminate against the non-straight couples?  The foster kids deserve love and the LGBT couples deserve to love them.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

The Ever-Increasing Alphabet of LGBT+. What Does It All Mean?

Chances are if your child comes out to you, he would most likely use the term gay, bisexual, lesbian, queer or trans.  But as a parent, how do you keep up with all the other terms and know their definitions, particularly if you don’t have a knowledge of Latin?  What is the + in LGBT+?

Here’s a primer:
Allosexual:  people who are attracted to at least one gender.
Androsexual:  people who are attracted to masculine gender presentation.
Asexual:      people who don’t experience sexual attraction
Bicurious:   people who are open to experiment with genders that are not only their own, but do not know if they are open to forming any sort of relationship with multiple genders.
Cisgender:      people whose personal identity and gender correspond to their birth sex.
Cishet:              people who are both cisgendered and heterosexual.
Gender-fluid: moving between genders or having a fluctuating gender identity.
Gynosexual:   people being attracted to feminine gender presentation.
Monosexual:  people attracted to only one gender.
Pansexual:      people who are attracted to all genders
Polysexual:     people attracted to many genders.
Queer:              A reclaimed term for anybody in the LGBT+ community or who do not identify as cisgender and/or heterosexual/heteroromantic.
Non-binary:   an umbrella term for genders that fall somewhere in the middle of the gender spectrum and are neither strictly male or female.  i.e. genderqueer.
Transsexual:  people who have had Gender Reassignment Surgery (GRS) to change their sexual organs that they were born with to that of a different gender.
MtF:  When somebody who is assigned as a male at birth identifies as a female.
              HtM:  When somebody who is assigned as a female at birth identifies as a male.

There are many more terms, but this vocabulary will get you started.

For a good reference, look at http://www.Gender: Your Guide: A Gender-Friendly Primer on What to Know, What to Say, and What to Do in the New Gender Culture by Lee Airton, Ph.D.