Thursday, 14 May 2009

I am a retarded homophobe

At least, the British Association for Adoption and Fostering thinks I am, and is paid taxpayers' money to say so.

I am in an unusual position when talking about adoption. I have been there. When my mother remarried, she and her second husband adopted me. Legally, I have nothing to do with my natural father, and I did not meet him until I was 38 years old. As an adopted child, your rights have not advanced much from the days of the Victorian workhouse - you don't have any. Legally, you are expected to be grateful that your adoptive parents want to have you and there is no way of setting aside the adoption and having your own family legally recognised.

Actually, I think that stinks. I am certain that there are many, many cases of successful adoption, but I am equally certain that there are many, many cases of unsuccessful ones. Article 8 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child is interesting: it asserts that a child has a right to an identity, and obliges the state to restore such rights if they are illegally deprived of them. That word 'illegally' is the problem. It permits the State to give social workers the right to think they know best. Better than the child, or their natural family.

I believe very strongly that a child should never be deprived of their identity. Whether your father is a saint or a serial killer; a philanthropist or a paedophile; a hobo or a homo: they are always going to be your parent and at least part of who you are depends on who they are. Fact.

I also believe very strongly that, where a child is looked after by people other than their birth parents, it is best that this happens with a married couple. All the evidence ever published has indicated that this is the best upbringing for a child. I have no doubt that there are homosexuals who would love and care for a child; just as there are bank robbers, rapists and paedophiles who would look after them. Where do you draw the line, though?

Clearly, there have to be safeguards. In 2006, two gay men from Yorkshire were imprisoned for abusing children who had been fostered by them. The indication was that social workers were slow to react, because they wanted to promote gay fostering and therefore ignored warnings. I do not have the slightest doubt that this is the greatest danger. Stupid, lazy, ignorant social workers would rather expose children to abuse than risk being accused of homophobia.

Children deserve better.

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