In Need of a Home
Bert was born in 1991. He tested positive for HIV and had been put up for adoption. At nine weeks old, Bert was placed in the care of foster parents Steven Lofton and Roger Croteau, who, at the time, had two other foster children. Lofton and Croteau lived in Miami, Florida with their three foster children. In order to spend more quality time raising his foster children, Lofton quit his job and became a stay at home Dad. Their lives were going well and by age three, Bert had tested negative for HIV, and was now considered "adoptable" by the state of Florida. (Let Him Stay 3) A social worker who worked with the family took notice of how well Bert was doing in Lofton and ...view middle of the document...
To ensure the placement of children in good homes, social workers ask questions such as: Is this person nurturing and sensitive to others? And, Do they have the qualities, strength and capacity to raise a child not born to them? (AdoptionOnline)
Many states ban homosexual adoption, stating that it is immoral, and raising children in homes with homosexual parents is not in the child's best interest. In Florida, gay or lesbian couples are allowed to be foster parents to children, but due to a 1977 law, they are banned from legally adopting children. In 2002, a similar adoption ban was introduced in South Carolina (Queensland Independent). Other states, Utah and Mississippi, only ban adoption by gay couples. These states will allow single gay parents to adopt, but not married couples (legally joined in other states), because they do not condemn gay marriage in the first place. In many cases, the final decision is made at the local court level (Let Him Stay3).
In 2003, the American Civil Liberties Union brought a lawsuit against the state of Florida., on behalf of Lofton and Croteau. For the past two years, the ACLU has helped Lofton and Croteau battle the Florida courts to gain custody of Bert. In a January 2004 ruling, the couple was denied custody of Bert due to their sexual orientation. The judge ruled, "Plaintiffs have not asserted that they can demonstrate that homosexual families are as equivalently stable as married heterosexual families" (ACLU Factsheet). But Bert was allowed to stay in their home until a "family" wished to adopt him. (Let Him Stay2) Is the state of Florida denying Bert a family? This is not just a family, but the only parents, and siblings Bert has ever known.
Opponents of homosexual adoption feel that children living in a home with homosexual parents could cause mental stability problems for the child such as low self-esteem due to harassment and rejection by their peers. Others feel that children will be raised immorally, and not have a stable home to grow up in. (ACLU Fact Sheet)
The argument that children raised by homosexuals will face...