Friday, January 2, 2009

Google This

This morning Mrs. Fundman was feeding Fundbaby and watching her favorite television "news" Fox, which I equate to more like watching E! than news, but whatever. Anyway, they were discussing a ban on unmarried couples adopting in Arkansas that was approved by voters in that state last month.

I should say in the spirit of full disclosure that I'm adopted. While my parents undoubtedly regret having raised an over-educated sarcastic pain in the rear, I feel now, and have always felt, tremendously blessed and honored that my parents wanted me so much that they dealt with the frustration and pain of not having been able to have children naturally and still adopted. No doubt they were moved by a combination of their own desires to be parents and some sense of responsibility to help out children who lacked parents.

Of course the process was different in the 1960's when I was adopted. You didn't have to go to Russia or Guatemala, fill out dozens of forms, see countless social workers, bribe dozens of people and then finally after months get your child. I've had several friends who've gone through the process and I always said to myself something like "Wow, how callous of corrupt Third World countries to needlessly politicize infants."

I'm sad to report that when I bothered to Google the circumstances surrounding this ban on unmarried individuals adopting in Arkansas I discovered the U.S. was full of asses, on both sides, willing to politicize infants without homes. Gay activists, like these folks, want to make it an anti gay issue. These folks from an organization named the "Family Council" of all things want to deny kids without families the chance to live with two people who want to serve as full-time parents. Unsurprisingly, no one seems particularly concerned about the kids here.

To say that my heart and head lie with the opponents of this ban goes without saying. The choice between a permanent home with two vetted individuals who are committed to making a lifetime commitment to a child and a foster family, even if both are committed to doing the job well is as different as night and day. And I quote:

Foster Parents:

* provide daily care and nurturing of children in foster care;
* advocate for children in their schools and communities.
* inform the children's caseworkers about adjustments to the home, school, and community, as well as any problems that may arise, including any serious illnesses, accidents, or serious occurrences involving the foster children or their own families.
* make efforts as team members with children's caseworkers towards reunifying children with their birth families.
* provide a positive role model to birth families, and
* help children learn life skills.

Adoptive Parents:

* provide permanent homes and a lifelong commitment to children into adulthood.
* provide for the short-term and long-term needs of children.
* provide for children's emotional, mental, physical, social, educational, and cultural needs, according to each child's developmental age and growth.
* may become certified as a foster family and accept children who are not legally free for adoption, but whose permanency plan is adoption.

Now let's assume that every right wing hypocrite who voted for this bill really believes that homosexuality is a sin (an issue I have no interest in ever discussing here in a political forum) and correspondingly believes that placing a child in a situation with an unmarried couple is morally wrong. As a Christian, how do you reconcile closing off one potential avenue of giving kids without legal parents a permanent "lifelong" home? Well, you agree to serve as a foster parent.

So basically, if I might speak as an economist here, the good voters of Arkansas who voted for this ban were externalizing the cost of their preferences onto the kids in the foster system who are denied a right to a permanent family.

To wit, I suggest we force those voters to bear the cost of their preferences by proposing the following amendment to the Arkansas ban:

Every person who votes in favor of this measure must serve as either an adoptive or foster family for a child without a family in the state in an order to be chosen by lot.

Before I finish I'm not letting the Gay Politics side of this off so easily. Gay people, it seems to me, have chosen a sort of "Civil Rights" model to achieve what was first, protection from overt discrimination, and what now seems to be equal recognition of their lifestyles. I would recommend this approach of simply abolishing civil marriage as an alternative for one simple reason. When you lie down with dogs, you get up with flees. Play politics with things, and the other side will retaliate. Remove politics from the equation, and you get better results. If this is about giving kids decent homes and not forcing other people to accept a lifestyle they may find repugnant and sinful, then try to take politics and the state out of the equation. Just a suggestion.


  1. Actually, I prefer E News to Fox, but it wasn't on at the time.

  2. Well you could have been watching the Soap Network......but then I would have posted about Melrose Place.

  3. Of course, if you're a single (straight) person with MULTIPLE sexual partners- a model lifestyle, perhaps- you are free to foster/adopt. Or if you're in an UNcommitted relationship... Good news for spotters of uniintended consequences!!! I am of course with you on the MANY reasons this ban is reprehensible.

  4. I'm not sure if single folks can adopt under the Arkansas law. If single people can adopt the ban would make no sense since the idea/motivation seems to be directing all adoption to straight married couples. Or maybe I'm missing something.