However, in the United States, the Establishment Clause has created a wall between church and state, and the morality of church policies cannot impact the laws of the land. While people are free to believe that being gay is immoral or unnatural, their religious beliefs cannot and should not hamper the rights and the liberties of others, including the right to the pursuit of happiness of gay couples who regard their love as natural and good.
Another objection raised to gay adoption that is frequently cited is the idea that children will experience negative psychological consequences because they will be teased at school. But these objections could also be raised against the ability of biracial couples to wed and to have children, or simply the children of any religious or minority group who suffers persecution. The problem is not the teasing of other students, but the prejudices of society. Such prejudice and bullying must be confronted and rooted out, rather than condoned by attempting to limit the rights of gays to have children. The child of one gay male couple said "his own robust self-esteem stems from a strong relationship with his father" (Carpenter 2007).
Conservative groups also argue that it is better for children to have both a mother and a father. But while having the economic and emotional support of two parents may be extremely beneficial, this does not necessarily mean that the two parents have to be of the same gender. And not all traditional couples seek out children in the U.S. International adoption, which offers a greater likelihood of securing a desirably young baby, currently remains the preferred method for most heterosexual, Caucasian couples: 60% since its peak of nearly 23,000 in 2004. (This is partially due to the fact that birth mothers are less apt to change their minds and it is easier to find newborns abroad). Gay couples may be more willing to adopt nontraditional children if they are not given priority by adoptive services for babies, or simply because they are more willing to overlook conventional stereotypes and expectations about what a traditional family resembles (Greenblatt 2011).
The true barrier to gay adoption is not nature. It is culture. However, that culture is beginning to change, as more and more gay celebrities, such as Rosie O'Donnell are advertising the fact that they have adopted children. In the media, the fact that more gay men and women are adopting children and raising nontraditional families is also growing more prominent. And the law, in this instance, is increasingly on the side of gays and lesbians. In Florida, a law banning adoptions by gay couples was recently ruled unconstitutional. "The best interests of children are not preserved by prohibiting homosexual adoption" (Almanzar 2008). The judge, Cindy S. Lederman of Miami-Dade Circuit Court, found that the law violated equal protection rights for prospective gay adoptees but also children and their prospective parents.
The specific case in the Florida that struck down the adoption law revolved around man who had raised two foster children for four years. The children had known no other stable household, but he was prohibited from adopting them by the state law. Thanks to the ruling, he would now be accorded the same rights as heterosexual couples, and his children would know that they would have a stable home.
Laws still stand, however, that effectively limit the rights of gay couples to adopt children by prohibiting non-married couples from doing so in Mississippi, Utah, and Arkansas (Almanzar 2008). However, as exhibited in the Florida case, these attitudes are slowly being challenged and the legal system as well. Florida prosecutors "presented experts who argued that there was a higher incidence of drug and alcohol abuse among same-sex couples, that their relationships were less stable than those of heterosexuals, and that their children suffered a societal stigma," to which the judge responded: "It is clear that sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person's ability to parent" (Almanzar 2008). In the future, it is hoped that gay parents seeking to adopt children will be judged upon the content of their characters, not irrational societal prejudices that hurt children as well as prospective gay parents.
Almanzar, Yolanne. "Florida gay adoption ban is ruled unconstitutional." The New York Times.
26 Nov 2008.
23 Nov 2011.http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/26/us/26florida.html
Belkin, Lisa. "What's good for the kids." The New York Times. 11 Aug 2009. 23 Nov 2011.