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The NY Times Interview: McCain Against Gay Adoption

Tobey Strickland
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jul 14, 2008

The New York Times yesterday featured a front-page interview with Sen. John McCain. On its Website, the newspaper published excerpts from the transcript of the interview, which included this exchange on whether gays should be allowed to become adoptive parents:

President Bush believes that gay couples should not be permitted to adopt children. Do you agree with that?

I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.

Even if the alternative is the kid staying in an orphanage, or not having parents.

I encourage adoption and I encourage the opportunities for people to adopt children I encourage the process being less complicated so they can adopt as quickly as possible. And Cindy and I are proud of being adoptive parents.

But your concern would be that the couple should a traditional couple


Actually, according to the American Psychological Assn., research shows "that children of gay or lesbian parents are just as mentally healthy as children with heterosexual parents," and there may even be some positive effects. Also, the sexual orientation of parents has no impact on that of their children. From the APA:

"There were very few group differences between the kids who had been brought up by same- or opposite-sex parents," says [Dr. Charlotte] Patterson, [a psychology professor at the University of Virginia], who conducted the research with students Jennifer Wainright and Stephen Russell, Ph.D., now an associate professor of sociology at the University of Arizona. One group difference that Patterson was surprised to find: Children of gay and lesbian parents reported closer ties with their schools and classmates. However, says Patterson, the difference was small and needs to be studied further.


Patterson’s study debunks the myth that children of gay or lesbian parents have trouble developing romantic relationships due to a missing father- or mother-figure–a concern that judges making custody rulings have cited. Equal numbers of teenagers from each group reported that they had been in a romantic relationship in the previous 18 months. Participants from the two groups did not differ in grade point average, symptoms of depression or self-esteem.


While the sexual orientation of the parents in Patterson’s study did not predict the adolescents’ social adjustment, the quality of the parent-child relationship did. Children who reported warm relationships with their parents tended to be the most mentally healthy and have the fewest problems in school.


So the biggest determining factor in determining the emotional health of a child is not the whether a parent is gay or straight, but the strength of the child’s relationship with his or her parents. That hardly seems surprising.

Whether McCain actually believes homosexuals are incapable of raising "successful" families or he’s just pandering to the GOP’s Christian conservative base is irrelevant. If this information is to be believed, then the net effect of McCain’s position would be to deprive parent-less children of the potential for adoption into a loving, supportive home. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there are about two and a half times as many children waiting to be adopted as are adopted every year. As an adoptive parent himself, you would think McCain would be willing to take a more humanitarian position, for the sake of children who don’t have parents.

Tobey Strickland | Reiki Master. In the process of becoming a real estate mogul. Brewery aficionado. Netflix series critic who is semi-professional. Every day, I assist clients in locating their ideal dream house. After I finish my work for the day, you can find me at Crossfit, doing yoga, or meeting up with friends to listen to live music around town. I enjoy traveling regularly, whether it's relaxing on a South American beach or hiking through Asia's mountains. Now it's your turn. What are your favorite places to visit?


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