|Evidence Points to Harmful Effects
OTTAWA, 21 MAY 2005 (ZENIT)
Spain and Canada are steadily moving
toward the legalization of same-sex "marriage." In past months the
bishops' conferences in both countries have issued numerous declarations
assailing the attempts to put heterosexual marriage and same-sex unions
on the same level.
This opposition, explained the Spanish episcopal conference in a
declaration April 21, does not mean that homosexuals should be
discriminated against or maltreated. As individuals they have the same
rights and dignity as all other persons, the bishops said. Yet, this
does not mean that two persons of the same sex have any right to
contract matrimony, the episcopal statement cautioned.
Opposition has been equally firm in Canada. "Because the relationship of
a man and woman committed in a marriage is the strongest core of the
family, and because the family is the most vital unit in society, we run
great risks in tinkering with the definition of marriage and the
family," explained a note published March 16 by the Canadian bishops'
Of particular concern to the Church, and other groups, is that the
proposed laws in Spain and Canada would allow same-sex couples to adopt
Adoption, insisted the Spanish bishops in a statement Oct. 1, should be
about looking after the good of children, and not "supposed" rights of
those who wish to adopt. Two people of the same sex do not constitute an
adequate point of reference for adoption, the bishops stated.
Compelling empirical evidence supporting the Church's objection on the
issue of adoption was published earlier this month in the United States
by the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH).
The organization was founded in 1992 to provide psychological
understanding of the cause, treatment and behavior patterns associated
On May 6 NARTH published a study titled, "Review of Research on
Homosexual Parenting, Adoption, and Foster Parenting." The paper was
written by George Rekers, professor of neuropsychiatry and behavioral
science at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine.
The study, accompanied by extensive documentation and bibliographical
references, was prepared for use in U.S. legal proceedings on the
question of whether homosexuals should be allowed to adopt children.
Rekers explains that the inherent nature of a household formed by
homosexually behaving adults "uniquely endangers foster children by
exposing them to a substantial level of harmful stresses that are over
and above usual stress levels in heterosexual foster homes."
The professor observes that adopted children are "among the most
vulnerable of all citizens," as by the time they arrive at their new
home they have already gone through a series of difficulties, often
involving separations, neglect, and traumas such as the death of
parents. Added to this is the stress of adjusting to a new home and
He then goes on to cite a number of studies that detail how, even when
adopted children are placed in favorable family circumstances, they
already suffer from substantially higher rates of psychological
Citing a wide variety of academic studies from countries around the
world, Rekers explains that homosexual adults suffer from significantly
higher rates of psychological disorders such as suicide, conduct
disorder and substance abuse. Living with a parent who suffers from a
mental disorder or has problems with drug or alcohol abuse will only
trigger further stresses and problems for adopted children, he contends.
"The logical conclusion from these findings would be that heterosexual
adults generally have significantly and substantially better health,
more energy, and better emotional stamina to devote to foster children,"
Another factor that militates against homosexuals being given the
possibility to adopt children is the well-demonstrated fact that
same-sex partner relationships are significantly less stable and more
short-lived on the average compared to a marriage of a man and a woman.
For adopted children this will lead to a substantially higher rate of
household transitions in foster homes for youngsters placed with a
homosexually behaving adult. Foster children have already suffered one
or more traumatic transitions, notes Rekers, and more-frequent
transitions result in greater psychological harm and psychosocial
Rekers observes that a longitudinal study based on population registers
in Norway and Sweden, which included legally registered same-sex
partnerships in the latter nation, reported that homosexual male couples
were 1.5 times as likely to break up as married heterosexual couples.
Breakup rates were even higher for homosexual female couples, who were
found to be 2.67 times as likely to split as heterosexual married
couples. Rekers goes on to explain that according to this study, when
controls for demographic characteristics associated with increased risk
of divorce were added to the analysis, male homosexual couples were 1.35
times as likely to divorce, and lesbian couples were three times as
likely to divorce as heterosexual married couples.
Needing a mom and dad
Another series of problems arises from the lack of role models, normally
present in a household headed by a father and a mother. A household with
one or more homosexually behaving members "deprives foster children of
vitally needed positive contributions to child adjustment," Rekers
Lacking is the mother/father relationship and model as related to child
rearing. Also absent is the model of a husband/wife relationship "which
is significantly healthier, substantially more stable socially and
psychologically, and is more widely approved compared to homosexual
lifestyles," the professor writes.
Rekers notes that openly identified homosexual researchers frequently
argue that an adult's sexual orientation has no bearing on whether they
can carry out important parenting functions. He admits that this
capability is necessary in a foster home, but it is not the only
Adopted children not only require parents who can carry out basic
parental functions. They also need parents who provide a family
structure where there is an environment that is propitious for a child's
development. In fact, for this reason, he notes, the state already puts
restrictions on those who can adopt, and normally excludes, for example,
newly married or elderly couples, and recently arrived immigrants.
Children placed for adoption have normally already lost a positive role
model of a married mother and father, and placing them in a household
headed by two persons of the same sex will leave them still bereft of
Marriages that consist of both a man and a woman provide special
advantages in raising children, Rekers explains. Children see and
experience the innate and unique abilities and characteristics that each
sex possesses and contributes to their combined endeavor. As well,
children learn lessons for later life by seeing both parents working
together in child rearing.
Reker argues that a heterosexual marriage provides a child with four
models that provide strong advantages to a child who grows up to become
a married adult:
heterosocial role model of a stable married male/female relationship.
heterosocial role model of mother and father coordinating co-parenting.
parenting role model of father-child relationship.
parenting role model of a mother-child relationship.
The study observes that the best child adjustment come about when they
live with a married man and woman. "It is clearly in the best interests
of foster children," Rekers states, "to be placed with exclusively
heterosexual married-couple foster families because this natural family
structure inherently provides unique needed benefits and produces better
child adjustment than is generally the case in households with a
homosexually behaving adult." Whether such arguments impress legislators
in Canada and Spain remains to be seen. ZE05052101