Who’s really hurting our children?

Erica Weisburn

There are more than 520,000 children cycling through the foster care system in this country, according to the North American Council on Adoptable Children. They are waiting for the basic amenities most children are accustomed to. Security, fulfillment and someone to call “Mom” or “Dad” are just a few unfamiliar feelings these children face daily.

It’s been found that nearly 40 percent of American adults, or 81.5 million people, have considered adopting a child, according to the 2002 National Adoption Attitudes Survey. Unfortunately, a small percentage actually follows through. Knowing this, wouldn’t it seem rational that every qualified individual would be accepted? That’s hardly the case.

While many of these children are desperately awaiting adoption, plenty of loving, potential parents are being turned away. Not because they aren’t qualified, but because of their sexual orientation.

In February, 10 members of the Ohio General Assembly proposed “The Adoptive and Foster Children’s Protection Act” preventing homosexuals and bisexuals from adopting children. And Ohio is not alone. Plenty of other states have begun proposing bills that would strip homosexuals of the right to adopt.

Apparently, those who support the act believe giving qualified and loving hopefuls the opportunity to adopt seemed a bit too reasonable. They must see homosexuality as a disease that can be caught by and influence children. If that thought alone didn’t infuriate me, it would probably make me laugh. I can’t fathom the logic behind those kinds of beliefs.

According to a recent USA Today article, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Child Welfare League of America, among other groups, cite research that shows children raised by gay or lesbian parents fare as well as those raised by a heterosexual couple.

Yet, some conservatives still create the illusion that homosexuals are incapable of providing children with a healthy environment in which to live. It’s as if they see them as disgusting, sex-obsessed freaks. It’s unfortunate that their ignorance is primarily harming our children.

The underlining point is that, once again, the government is doing its part in overstepping its boundaries. From banning gay marriage and fighting domestic partner benefits, to the current adoption issue, I don’t believe they will be satisfied until all of the basic human rights are taken from the homosexual community.

With such high numbers of orphans in this country, I don’t understand why state legislatures are pushing for this ban. They are so consumed with hate and prejudice that the big picture is overlooked.

The big picture is this: Thousands of children live without parents, without homes and without love, and government officials control the fate of these children from the safety of their offices.

If only the 10 assembly members had to personally tell orphans “NO!” every time they turn parents away. Maybe then they would see who the real threat to our children is.

Erica Weisburn is a junior newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].