Friday, 27 December 2013

Times: Adoption of children by same-sex couples
Sunday, December 15, 2013, 00:01 by Christine Rossi, Mariella Catania, Elaine Mizzi, Suzanne Vella, Christian Vella, John Busuttil, Henriette Busuttil, Isabella Borg, John Caruana, Joanne Dimech, Gordon Fitz, Martha Fitz, Stefan Galea, Agatha Galea, Nadia Koppens Apap, Audrey Mercieca, Franco Mercieca, Roberta Micallef, Chris Micallef, Marica Naudi, Josette Polidano, David Polidano, Birkirkara

We are concerned about the way in which the adoption of children by homosexual couples is being quickly legislated through the Civil Unions Bill. We have no doubt that homosexuals have the potential to love children just as much as heterosexuals and can provide the basic needs, affection, discipline, and education.

However, the adoption of children is a delicate issue and can affect the lives of so many voiceless children that it cannot be rushed through. It merits a deeper discussion, even through a separate parliamentary standing committee.

We have three main concerns. The first is that in the discussions in which homosexual couples are fighting for civil rights, caring for children is being considered as another ‘right’ of the couple. The focus is not on the rights of the children. Children are not a trophy to parade or to show the level of emancipation in society.

Who is going to ensure the best interests of children in all these discussions? Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if this issue is discussed in the light of the Adoption Administration Act, where the focus there is on the rights of children?

The second concern is on how to ensure that children who are adopted, who could have been through a difficult upbringing already, are exposed to role models from both genders. Bringing up children does not simply involve loving them but also accompanying them to develop their unique identity, including their gender identity. Children need the experience of masculinity and femininity together.

Many argue that since we already have adoptions by single people, we are introducing no new reality to society. However, in their upbringing, children with two parents of the same sex will have a reinforcement of one gender and a complete absence of the other. Children form their gender identity through the relationship with both the parent of the same sex, as well as with the parent of the opposite sex. In couples of the same sex, this will be somewhat absent or even skewed. How will it be compensated for? Could a homosexual upbringing lead to gender confusion?

The third concern is that this ‘right’ of adoption of children will undoubtedly usher in the practices of surrogate mothers and artificial insemination by donors. The ethicial dilemmas such practices open up have not yet been discussed in our society. These practices will lead to the commodification and exploitation of the human body.

These issues merit more reflection to understand how the fabric of our society will be changed. We call upon MPs and professionals in the field to discuss this in the best interest of the child. Childhood is the foundation of a person’s life and of society too.

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