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A court case ruling in mid-1997-DEC compels the State of New Jersey to allow gay couples to jointly adopt children who are trapped in their foster care system.

As of 1997-DEC:
bullet There are about 100,000 children in US foster care systems, but only 20,000 are adopted annually. There is obviously a lack of adopting homes for the children who are available.
bullet Most states allow unmarried individuals to adopt.
bullet 22 states allow single gays and lesbians to adopt
bullet Some states allow unmarried couples (gay, lesbian, mixed-sex) to double adopt. This has the child adopted by one spouse and later adopted by the other.
bullet New Jersey is the first state to allow an unmarried couple to adopt a child jointly - at the same time.

This court decision is one more instance in which gay and lesbian couples are recognized as equivalent to heterosexual couples.

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Family Research Council Comments

Gary Bauer, president of the Family Research Council, disagreed with the wisdom of the court decision. The FRC is one of the leading "pro-family" organizations within the religious right. He said that the "...ACLU-driven decision to treat homosexual and unmarried couples the same as married couples in adoption considerations is a disaster for children and families." His reasons were as follows [our comments are appended within brackets]:
bullet the decision could deny the privilege of adoption to many heterosexual, married couples. [That is not true at the present, because there is a large surplus of children available for adoption. In the future, if the supply dried up, then children would be assigned to the best available couples. This court decision assures that the children will get the best available parents, not the best available heterosexual parents]
bullet children should be brought up by a mother and  a father [he apparently would prefer children to continue to be left in foster families rather than be adopted by permanent parents]
bullet "thousands of children will forever be denied having mothers." [And some will have no fathers. But at least, they will have two permanent adoptive parents, rather than two foster parents].
bullet a child has the best chance of developing a healthy sexual and emotional identity if raised by heterosexual spouses. [This is not what studies have shown]
bullet "Common sense and an overwhelming body of social science data suggest that children raised outside of one-mother, one-father families are more likely to experience problems like drug abuse, depression, poor discipline and confused sexual identity." [That might be "common sense" to Mr. Bauer, but it disagrees with reality. At the circuit court case in Hawaii concerning same-sex marriages, all of the witnesses, both for the plaintiffs and the defense agreed that gay and lesbian couples are as fit [as parents] and loving as opposite sex couples. It appears that there is no "social science data" which shows the opposite. Mr. Bauer appears to be either uninformed or unintentionally lying.]

In a press release issued 1997-DEC-18, Robert Knight, the Director of Cultural Studies of the FRC is quoted as saying: "What homosexual activists are calling a landmark victory in the battle for 'equal rights' amounts to a landmark defeat for the best interests of children." He commented that homosexual households are not capable of :"...providing balanced role modeling for several relationships that are crucial to the formation of healthy, stable families."

He did not support this belief with references to any studies.

The entire press release expressed concern about gay couples being allowed to adopt children. In fact, homosexual couples had been able to do this for years. The court decision merely simplifies the process by allowing the two spouses to adopt a child at the same time, rather than sequentially. Also, the vast majority of families affected by this court decision are certain to be led by heterosexual spouses.

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bullet Anon, "Wanted: Caring Parents", Our View, USA Today, 1997-DEC-19
bullet Gary Bauer, "Families are in danger", Opposing View, USA Today, 1997-DEC-19
bullet Family Research Council press release, "N.J. Gay Adoption Settlement Undermines Children's Interests, FRC Says", 1997-DEC-18

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