Thursday, January 8, 2009

Birth Certificate or Certificate of Title?

The state attorney general of Louisiana is planning to appeal a federal court order to put the names of two adoptive fathers on their son's birth certificate. This comes from a suit brought by Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith, who adopted a Louisiana-born boy in New York State, where same-sex couples can be listed as parents. They now live in San Diego. So the kid was born in one state, adopted in another, and goes to live in a third with a falsified birth certificate that obliterates the names of his real, biological parents. Nothing new here.

Louisiana contends that the state is being forced to grant more legal recognition to the couple than required under the U.S. Constitution. It would be nice if at the same time, the state recognized that it was stripping an individual of his right to have access the identity he had at birth.

While I am against most adoptions per se, it does seem that if two guys, or two gals, are going to adopt they ought to be able to be listed as parents on the birth certificate, the same as heterosexual couples.

This case does pinpoint the folly of attempting to erase biological facts through governmental machinations. Messers. Adar and Smith may feel more secure because their adopted son has a new birth certificate. The new birth certificate, however, will likely do the very thing that amended birth certificates were attempting to avoid: cause little Adar-Smith “unnecessary embarrassment, pain, and disgrace” as he explains to strangers why his birth certificate shows the biological impossibility that he has two fathers and no mother.

It is time to repeal laws mandating or allowing the creation of amended birth certificates. When a child is adopted, states should issue an identification card showing the LEGAL parents of the child as well as the date and place of birth. The birth certificate should record the physical facts surrounding the birth -- listing the names of his biological parents, et cetera -- and be available to the child and his birth parents.

I admit I have another reservation about the case. I don't like adoption per se but if it is to happen, let it at least be with a mother and father, unless the couple is adopting a child that would otherwise be in foster care. I have no problem with gays adopting relatives or children with whom they developed a relationship such as their partner’s children. I know that many gays provide much needed help to struggling families through programs such as Big Brother and YMCA Camps.

However, I don't like to see male couples adopting newborns. Having a mother, at least a woman acting like a mother, is important to babies and young children. A gay man, Dan Savage, wrote about how he and his partner adopted a newborn boy in an open adoption in a 1999 book The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Get Pregnant. Several years later in an interview, Savage stated that the mother stopped visiting and they lost touch with her. The boy cried for her.

If nature had intended for men to nurture infants, it would have given them breasts. In the animal world, the males of some species are primarily responsible for raising the young but human males are not designed for the task. The one thing women can do that men cannot do is have babies. By adopting infants and claiming that having two fathers is as good as having a mother and a father, these men are trying to nullify women's special, natural role. As the public accepts this, we move one step closer to the re-distribution of children.

Another problem is that gays and other groups who were deterred in the past from adopting have increased the demand for infants. These groups include women over 40, single people, and couples who have their own children. The increased demand raises the cost of adoption which increases the adoption industry’s profits which increases the pressure on women to surrender their babies. It’s a vicious circle.

1 comment :

  1. Your comment that men aren't meant to nurture infants only proves that the 19th Amendment was the biggest mistake this country ever made. Women are just too stupid to be allowed to vote.

    ReplyDelete

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