Gay Parents

I found a great site recently – Hulu.com – which brings you legit, full episodes of television and movies with minimal commercials. It is a bit dangerous as it definitely encourages some hard-core procrastination. But it also provides access to some really quality content.

An example is an episode of 30 Days on same sex parents. For those of you remember the brilliant documentary Supersize Me, this is creator Morgan Spurlock‘s television show takes that concept and fits it into an hour. It takes pretty open-minded, yet passionate and dedicated people and has them live the lifestyle that is the complete opposite of what they believe in or are used to, such as a gun control advocate living in a house where guns are a big part of their daily life, and a great episode where Spurlock and his girlfriend attempt to live solely on minimum wage jobs.

In this episode, a woman who passionately believes that kids need a mother and a father as parents and that gays should not be parents lives with a gay couple and their 4 adopted sons for 30 days. And for me, and this woman, the most powerful part of her experience is when she goes and speaks with kids who have aged out of the foster care system. The kids talk about how awful it was to live in group homes because there are not enough foster homes for kids, arguing that prohibiting gay people from fostering and adopting children is harming kids. And it appeared that having this mom live with this family showed her that these parents were just like most other parents – loving, dedicated, and raising wonderful children, although she still clung to the idea that, in theory, she still opposes gays parenting.

It is extremely frustrating to me that people still have these perceptions on professional and personal levels. Professionally, it has become quite clear to me quite quickly, that we desperately need foster parents and the fact that many places (luckily not in my state) deny people from caring for needy children based on who they love is absolutely ridiculous. Not only are gays just as capable to parent as straight people, but we are also in a crisis and desperately need as many qualified people as we can get (it is interesting to me to note how this also seems similar to gays in the military).

On a personal level, as a gay person, I find it extremely offensive that people automatically discount me as someone who can parent based on who I am attracted to. And I know, that even though I live in a fairly welcoming area, that I am still at risk at being accused of false allegations and people protesting against my parenting children. I feel that I am even at risk of this type of complaints just as a social worker working with children. It angers me that no matter how academically qualified, passionate, and dedicated I am to my job, ridiculous charges can still be slung at me. I just hope that this changes quickly.

Advertisements

12 Responses to Gay Parents

  1. you’ve totally gotta check out surfthechannel.com 🙂 I causes me SO much procrastination. Or well, it’s me procrastinating, it just gives me an outlet.

    good post by the way. I’m interested in checking out that TV show, and probably will, next time I have something important to do!

  2. ina says:

    So after living with a gay family and knowing of the lack of families she’s STILL against gay parenting. What an asshole.

  3. Thorn says:

    Thanks for writing about this. I’ve been looking forward to watching that episode.

    I’m a lesbian and my partner and I are starting the process of special needs adoption, which in our state necessitates that only one of us can be considered the legal parent since joint and second-parent adoptions are a legal gray area the cabinet doesn’t want to get involved with. It’s been so frustrating to know that our relationship is treated with respect and support by all the social workers we’ve dealt with so far, everyone in our class, and yet when it comes time for the actual adoption we’ll be second-class citizens.

    I keep trying to focus on the good news that so many of the people I’m running into through this process do support us and think we’ll make good parents, but it’s hard to be all that excited that the state allows us to function as parents even though I know that compared to other states we’re still in a fortunate position.

  4. antiSWer says:

    People STILL have this idea that there was this “wonderful” time in history where all families were intact with a mother and father and two and a half kids with a white picket fence. In reality, it just never existed.

    I don’t think it’s necessarily that some people think that gay parents can’t parent. It’s more that some people think that if a kid is raised by gay parents, that kid will turn out to be gay, and that’s still a horrible thing for some people. The fact that it just isn’t true barely comes to light just because of the fear of a gay child.

    I hope to see the day where the rights of all people are equal, or at least close. We seem to be on a pendulum, swinging back and forth. Sigh.

  5. Reas says:

    That channel sounds down right evil. I must check it out. I’m curious about the one where the couple tries to live on minimum wage.

    When I worked for the state, we had specific policies in place that did not allow us to discriminate on anything–even age. Which sounds great, until a couple in their 70’s wanted to adopt their baby granddaughter. That one gave me pause….I don’t know what ever happened there.

  6. As a gay social worker, you should just accept the fact that some people aren’t going to agree with, and will be disgusted by your lifestyle. They are free to feel that way, be it based on ignorance or religious beliefs or whatever. As for gay’s being foster contractors for the child protective and kidnapping industry, you should realize that some real parents might view that as having that kind of a lifestyle forced down their childrens throats. That is unacceptable. If they weren’t stealing so many children they wouldn’t have to lower their standards for foster homes in the first place, so this wouldn’t even be an issue.

    I have had a personal experience with a lesbian babystealer, and she was, quite frankly, the most misirable bitch I’ve ever had to deal with. Perhaps that had nothing to do with her being gay. But who is she to force her morals and ethics down my throat?

  7. Spankie says:

    I am as right wing conservative as you can get. I am a bible thumper. I am an evangelical born again Christian.
    I take in foster kids (used to be state licensed but just gave up on the red tape and BS.)
    I also take in people that have struggled with addictions, poor choices, financial setbacks or folks that have been handed a bad hand in life.

    I argue with the “brethren” all the time about gay persons and their status within the church as well as the community. While i do not condone a same sex preference, you may not condone parents that smoke cigarettes, eat unhealthy, or struggle with alcoholism and are in recovery.

    I have just recently allowed a 48 year old gay woman to come stay with us while she gets on her feet financially. She is a friend of my wifes. She is a wonderful person and would make a wonderful parent. Can you imagine what some of the other christian folks are saying. you see, i have foster kids as well as kids of my own and i am high up in the bible teaching thingy. i also run a mens group as well as a bible study at a half way house in a rough section of town.

    You see, my view is taken from the Bible and my Lord. My life is simple. I simply LOVE everyone. yup, everyone. If a gay couple wants to share their home with some kids that need love and a stable home, i ask…”how can I help?”

    You know where i stand on homosexuality but i think that you would be my freind, or a friend of my family. (unless you dont like people in recovery who used to have multiple sex partners without commitment and smoked marlboros.) I would not hesitate to have a child placed in your home if it was stable and loving. a home where ignorance is put aside for the well being of a kid.

    I read a blog written by a gay male couple. these guys take in only special needs kids, and lots of them. man what an awesome family. i wish my family was a functional as theirs.

    Have a little mercy on us christian folk. we are just people that make mistakes too. Have a great day and please know that I enjoy your writing.

    Blessings

    Frankie G

  8. cb says:

    I really enjoyed those Morgan Spurlock programmes – but I don’t think I saw that one (and can’t access Hulu from outside North America ). I think the points you make a pertinent though.
    I think children need stability and love and there is no reason sexuality should be an issue. Indeed, positive relationships are good modelling processes. And you’re right about being more susceptible to false allegations if you are gay. It shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately it can be easier to build barriers than to build bridges and the topic of sexuality is one that a lot of people feel uncomfortable about discussing and therefore see ‘the other’ as something to be distanced from.
    You are exactly right and I hope things change quickly too.

  9. bluejeansocialwork says:

    I have found that homosexuality does get injected into child welfare cases, and I never understand why. Well, actually I do. It’s because people like drama. But it really bothers me when this happens, because it just has nothing to do with children’s safety. A CPS worker will just chip in with, “oh, by the way, they’re gay.” And? I feel it is definitely used to hurt gay parents and the children who live with them, and in a completely inappropriate and distracting way.

  10. illusivejoy says:

    It’s too bad that woman’s perspective wasn’t changed after living with the family. That would have been brilliant. i wonder if in my lifetime, the world will ever become as opne minded and loving as it really needs to be? A girl can dream…

    http://www.illusivejoy.wordpress.com

  11. Jessica says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: