Same-sex couples allowed adoption in 6 counties of NH
N.H. House OKs adoption law change
By Associated Press
CONCORD, N.H. — The state House voted yesterday to allow unmarried adults — including gay couples — to adopt children together.
State law allows children to be adopted by married couples or single adults. Gay individuals can adopt, but same-sex couples can adopt in only six of the state’s 10 counties because probate judges interpret the law differently.
The 234-127 vote sent the bill to the Senate.
Representative Jayne Spaulding said current law is “neither fair nor just” because some courts allow the adoptions while others don’t. The Bedford Republican said the bill is needed to correct an ambiguity.
“This bill is not about whether gays or lesbians should be allowed to adopt,” said Spaulding, who noted a ban on gays adopting was lifted in 1999.
Not just gay couples would be affected, she added. A brother and sister might want to adopt a younger sibling if their parents were dead, she said.
Representative Dan Itse, a Fremont Republican, objected that the bill would allow same-sex couples to adopt as a couple — a debate the House will have when it considers pending bills to allow civil unions and same-sex marriage. Itse predicted the House will approve one of the bills and make the adoption bill unnecessary.
Itse also pointed out that unmarried couples can split up without getting divorced, which means there is no court oversight of the child’s welfare.
For quite some time since anyone can remember adoption has not only been a controversial issue on face value, but has also held some charged opinions regarding same-sex marriage. Psychologists and conservative individuals see not only same sex marriage as a threat to the institution of the “American heterosexual family,” but attempt to assert that their children will be sexually abused, and pushed into lives in the LGBTIQ community. Their information is based on false pretenses, and homophobic foundations through institutions such as religion. The actual statistics do not show any more sexual abuse in same sex couples than heterosexual couples.
The American institution of “the family” is grounded on the role of parenting. Families are not considered legitimate unless offspring (biological, or adopted) children are part of the equation. This flagrant denial of same sex couples of adopting children attempts to continue to challenge and supplement a conservative agenda to cripple the legitimacy and legality of same sex marriage. By asserting that same sex couples are “atypical” and that they can potentially “contaminate” their adopted children with homosexuality is a conservative political wedge that is being driven deep into the American consciousness as a way to preserve the sacred definition of the family, while stigmatizing the LGBTIQ community’s right to rear children. If child rearing itself becomes the defining factor in institutionalizing a family, by denying same sex couples adoption it hinders their acceptance and institutionalization as a legitimate “American Family.”
As same sex marriage begins to gain momentum in the legislature across the country, I believe conservatives realize they need to have a two-prong attack on same sex marriage. While limiting same sex marriage is one route to take, they have also sought additional methods to delegitimize families through political provisions on adoption. When those methods fail on states such as Massachusetts, they look to channel this same political agenda through adoption which becomes the cornerstone in establishing a legitimate family. This enables those who wield influence and political clout on the adoption industry the power of deciding who is allowed to have families in the U.S.