Thursday, 19 August 2010

“How does anyone know that my kid won’t go to a gay couple?”

‘There’s no way that I can keep this baby myself. I share a bedroom with my mother and the money mom makes from waitressing isn’t enough as is. But let me tell ya, I don’t want the abortion’ said ‘Latoya’, an articulate teenager who was three months pregnant. She wore a serious older woman’s face and kept a very straight posture.
She had popped into the New York pregnancy centre where I worked, and she had many questions. Primarily, what hope was there for ‘the kid’ if she did give birth? Latoya was perceptive – she was only fifteen but had seen her friends go through abortion after abortion and was clear that, ‘I don’t want it in my book o’ life that I killed my first….I wanna bring the kid out into the world! And I can’t raise him, so maybe there’ll be a nice family who will…’
Some might find it strange that it is 'these girls' from the gang-land, New York black spots who think of adoption. ‘These girls’ are accustomed to raw, emotional pain. Their father is with another woman, and doesn’t keep any contact with them. Their mother’s boyfriend starts eyeing them up when they’ve tired of the mother. If their mother is drunk or shooting up and they don’t want to go home of an evening, well, they have boyfriends who can find them somewhere to stay. The boyfriend will then find someone new in the morning. They live in danger of being shot, share lifts with men who have knives swinging in their trouser pockets and a lot depends on what gang or group you happen to be in. And if they become pregnant, what’s so wrong with wanting ‘the kid’ to have the family life and the opportunities that were denied them? Queries about adoption were still very occasional – about two girls out of every hundred would ask.
In this instance, Latoya discussed the possibility of adoption. But abruptly, became very quiet, fixed her eyes on me and asked, ‘how does anyone know that my kid won’t go to a gay couple?’
I was really taken aback. What?! Wasn’t she afraid of being called ‘homophobic’? But Latoya didn’t have fancy terms such as ‘relationship instability’ to describe gay relationships, but she did use her eyes and ears. Friends of hers got paid to go places and play…ahem…certain sexual roles for gay couples. And she knew that some of these homosexual couples spoke about adopting children.
I told her that there were still heterosexual couples who adopted children. Latoya wasn’t sure she was allowed to give her child to a (I can hear the politically correct police siren blare as I type) ‘straight couple’. ‘Isn't it just gay couples who get the babies?’ she said in a worried voice.
How many Latoyas are there? How many of them have abortions because adoption to them seems so risky?
I didn’t live Latoya’s life – but she was certain that whatever she had seen in her parents’ broken heterosexual marriage was better than that of the gay couples that she knew. She was a fifteen year old who still had childish clips in her hair, but she knew more about the hard facts of life than most of the government.
Oh, and if someone had called her ‘a right wing nutter’ - because she only wanted her baby to go to a homosexual couple – well Latoya would have shrugged and asked what ‘right wing’ meant.
I have seen hundreds of women who are mentally blitzed about whether they should or not continue their pregnancy. From the hundreds of girls who are in a crisis pregnancy that I have met, whenever a girl enquires about adoption (although this is rare), she blurts something like, ‘understand it’s not that I have anything against gays, but I don’t want the kid to be raised by a gay couple’.
In all the hysteria about homosexual couples’ ‘rights’ to adopt children, NEVER are the views of the actual mothers of these prospective adoptive children heard. Would it hurt the pride of the gay community to hear that mothers considering adoption do not usually want the babies to go to them? Why don’t these mothers have any choice? Especially here in England, as the last Catholic adoption agency – Catholic Care – has had to close because it won’t give children to homosexual couples? I'm a young woman, and if I want to place a baby for adoption, where do I go?

PS - William Oddie has written about the closing of Catholic Care.

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