Sunday, November 19, 2006

NY Times Magazine on gay parenting


The Sunday Nov 19 2006 issue of The New York Times Magazine has a long article by John Bowe, "Gay Donor or Gay Dad: Gay men and lesbians are having babies and redefining fatherhood, commitment, and what a family can be," on p. 66. Artwork and illustrations are by Christopher Silas Neal. A variety of detailed stories are presented. The idea that not having children is "selfish" appears and one gay man wants to be sure that he does not have an "only child." The legal complications are explored.

When I researched my first DADT book in the mid 1990s, I found that there was quite a body of support for the ideas that gays should try to become parents, as in the book by Dr. Kenneth Morgen, Getting Simon (1995, Bramble Books).

When I lived in Minneapolis 1997-2003, I saw bus stop benches with advertising signs looking for adoptive and foster parents, and claimed that singles were welcome. A few states, however, ban (or have tried to ban) gay adoptions.

The political issue comes up in the sense that if you want full equality, you have to take on equal responsibilities for others. Yet this would contradict the ideal of a mother and father (married) for every child.

One could imagine public policy could be engineered to encourage more heterosexually married couples to adopt, especially minortiy children. But that may be daydreaming.

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