You know, I've really been holding back on this thread. But I really have to make a few comments.
I'm an adoptive mom, and I am active in several adoptive parent networks. Quite a few of the families in these networks include same-sex parents. Let me tell you a little about what distinguishes these families from other families.
Adoptive parents are folks who made a very conscious decision to parent. We didn't just wake up and find out we were having a baby, ready or not. We planned. We are not only emotionally prepared for the parenthood journey, but we actively sought it out. Most of us (but not all) are older, and more established in our careers.
Each of us went through a complex process to be vetted as parents. Most families do not host social workers in their homes prior to parenthood. But we did. We went through interviews, discussions on values and parenting philosophy. Some of us were required to take courses. Social workers peeked in our cabinets and warned us to put safety locks on the ones containing dishwasher detergent and other toxic cleaning supplies, and discussed the dangers of dangling pull-ties on window blinds. We were quizzed about our childcare plans, and the ways in which we planned to balance work and family. Our finances were examined, to determine if we were able to implement these plans.
Then, a child came into our lives. For some of us, the child was the healthy, beautiful child of our dreams. For others, the child came into this world suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome or birth defects or other special needs, or the child came into our homes after having lived in an abusive or unsafe environment. Those of us welcoming special needs kids into our homes went through an additional set of requirements, ensuring that we were prepared to meet the physical and emotional needs of a child who might need special schools, and extra support.
The same sex parents who underwent this journey to parenthood, did so with their eyes wide open. And when I look at the children in the homes of the same-sex parents in my social network, I see children who are loved and cherished. Their parents struggle over decisions that all active parents face. Summer swimming lessons vs extra academic help over the summer. They say no to too much tv or sweets. They shuttle the kids to ballet class and soccer practice and playdates and birthday parties. They tuck money away into 529 savings plans in preparation for their kids' college expenses. In my social circle, most of the kids with same sex parents have more stamps in their passports than their peers.
But you know what the most important thing is? These kids are loved. Wanted. Cherished. I'm not saying that every same sex couple becomes the perfect parent. But when compared to the general parent population, I feel really confidant in saying that the majority of (adopted) kids growing up in homes with same sex parents are really the center of their parents' universe.
They are loved, cherished, nurtured and wanted. And provided for. And that is what every child deserves.