In most countries, single-parent adoption is legal, but regulated, while gay adoption is banned. To circumvent the regulations, same-sex couples wishing to adopt overseas typically have one partner file as a single parent. Think of it as a don’t-ask-don’t-tell policy. But if you are an officially-married gay couple, hey tough luck! Your best bet would be to adopt a child from your home country.
The China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) says in a post on its website dated Oct. 2005 that homosexuals cannot adopt children from China because “the China Mental Disorder Classification and Diagnosis Standard classifies homosexuality as sexual obstruction, belonging to psychiatric disease“.
As far as Shanghaiist understands, that isn’t true. China declassified homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder in 2001. That sets it way ahead of many other Asian countries, mainly ex-British colonies (ahem) that are still stuck today with 19th century Victorian laws (ahem, ahem) when it comes to “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” (ahem, ahem, ahem). But we digress.
China is by far the most popular provider of adopted children in the United States, sending 7,000 children to the US in 2003. We were told by a Jewish journalist friend with a rabbi father and a lesbian mother (how cool is that!) who adopted a Chinese girl some time back before 2001, China was developing a reputation as a convenient destination for same-sex couples looking to adopt. A flurry of media reports soon made the CCAA impose a ceiling on the number of international adoptions, and limit the maximum proportion of successful applications from single-parent families to five percent. Today, prospective single parents living with someone of the same sex are required to sign an afﬁdavit stating that they are not gay.
Of course, China isn’t the only country with adoption regulations that don’t totally make sense. If you are a single male wishing to adopt in Singapore, you will only be allowed to adopt boys, not girls. Ostensibly, Singapore’s adoption laws were written to “protect the children” in the good old days when gay men didn’t exist and all paedophiles were by default, hetero!
Shanghaiist thinks that with such a large number of orphans and children with disabilities living in orphanages and institutions and foster homes around the world (especially female children in China!), opponents of gay adoption are really saying that it is far better for these children to continue living in institutions than for them to be given a real home by someone, anyone — gay or straight, single or otherwise.
As a good Christian boy, Shanghaiist agrees with Mother Teresa who said we should “fight abortion with adoption”. What do other Shanghaiists think?
Image from chadisalem.