Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Malta Today: Gay adoptions | 89 ‘concerned’ citizens tell MPs ‘love alone is not enough’

Describing themselves as ‘friends-mothers who work in the educational and social field’, 89 write to members of parliament voicing their concern over the civil unions bill.
Monday 3 February 2014 - 19:01 by a Staff Reporter

Eighty-nine Maltese who described themselves as "mothers and friends working in the educational and social field" have written to the members of parliament urging them "not to rush" to legislate on allowing same-sex couples to adopt before "reflecting on what the children's needs are".

"Childhood is the foundation of a person's life and thus of a society's future too. Let's treat our children with gentleness and caution. Let us not rush to legislate on their future without reflecting on what their needs," the group said, adding that "love alone is not enough".

In their letter, they say that the civil unions bill was "not only about homosexuality but also about our children, families and marriage".

The letter is being reproduced in its entirety below:

Freedom, equality, justice & support

We fully acknowledge the past and present pain of homosexual persons caused by heterosexuals. We also understand the need to strengthen their rights, care and support. We are in favour of promoting not just tolerance but acceptance towards same-sex attracted people. We appreciate that men and women in same-sex relationships have the ability to be as devoted and show affection towards children as much as those in heterosexual relationships.

Yet equality does not imply the end of sexual difference. We need each other as male and females. We can never become the same. Taking a shortcut to try to do so will create pain in our children's lives.

Also, in this discussion of rights for homosexual couples, having and caring for children is being considered as just another 'right' of the couple. The focus is on the rights of the couple and not the rights of the children. Children are not there to satisfy a need to be equal to others. Who is going to ensure and safeguard the best interests of the children in all this discussion? It is in light of this principle that we suggest that all this discussion is treated carefully and with enough input from professionals. Would it not be more appropriate if it is discussed in the light of the Adoption Administration Act where the focus there is on the rights of the children?

Equating civil unions to marriage - Its effect on children

If same-sex relationships are recognised as marriages as in this Civil Union Bill will be doing, not only will the norms that keep marriage stable be undermined, but the notion that men and women bring different parenting gifts will not be highlighted by any civil institution. This law will be saying that it is not important anymore to have a mother and a father.

Child well-being

Child well-being is not just about love & parenting skills. Both gays & straight can have good parenting skills. But what a mother can give through her femininity can never be given by a father through his masculinity. We must definitely appreciate that the two sexes are not the same. They are different to the core, and each is necessary both culturally and biologically. Femininity and masculinity are not simply roles that one can choose to take on or to reject; they are the very being of who we are. Thus, two females can never give the experience of masculinity to the child they are rearing and similarly with two males. Studies have shown that there is a higher incidence of teenage pregnancies and adolescent problems such as delinquency and aggression in children who have no father present in their lives. Although there are many heroic single parents who raise very healthy children, parenting by two sexes can lead to a healthier upbringing and a holistic development of personality.

Regularising what is already there?

This law is not about regularising what is already there like some countries did. This law is opening up the road to a new family structure with not only a missing natural feature but the reinforcement of one sex. It is true that there are children living with single, widowed, separated, divorced parents and children living in orphanages but living in these situations out of circumstance is different than choosing specifically to place a child born out of two sexes in a family of two parents of one sex.

Difference between adoption by gay single and gay couple - gender confusion

When a gay (or straight) adopts as a single person the child knows that there is something missing. In a gay couple there is reinforcement of one sex, two mummies or two daddies. This homosexual parenting upbringing could lead to gender confusion. Children form their gender identity through the relationship with both the parent of the same sex, as well as in contrast with the parent of the opposite sex. Family studies about healthy children indicate that effeminate boys often have unusually close rela­tionships with their mothers and especially distant relationships with their fa­thers. Research suggests that the mothers of some effeminate boys actually encourage and support "female" activities in their sons. (American Association of Paediatricians We chose research on healthy children, as research on gay adoption is all biased by either religious groups who are against or gay activists/lobby groups who are always in favour.

The dignity of women

Another concern is that this 'right' of adoption of children will undoubtedly lead to the practices of surrogate mothers, especially since the countries where we usually adopt from such as Russia and Ethiopia are still very intolerant towards homosexuality. The ethicial dilemmas which such practices open up have not yet been discussed in our society nor considered seriously. These practices will lead to the commodification and the risk of exploitation of the woman and the baby itself. There is already a strong LGBT lobby group in Europe with the Ulrike Lunacek Report promoting this. Is our society ready for this?

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