Where’s the Evidence?

In his weekly National Catholic Reporter column, theologian Fr. Richard McBrien addreses the fact that “Gay adoption raises larger questions.” The issue at hand is whether same-sex couples should be allowed to adopt children. Many social service agencies under Catholic auspices are struggling with this issue, especially in view of the Vatican’s stance that such adoptions would be “immoral” for doing “violence” to such adopted children.

That position was expressed in a 2003 Vatican statement (“Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons”), which made the following claim: “Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development. This is gravely immoral.”

Although he treads lightly, McBrien raises a question which I have made here before. Namely, where’s the evidence for such a statement? In McBrien’s words: “Is there evidence that ‘violence’ is, in fact, done to children placed in adoptive households of same-sex couples, as the congregation asserted?”

It’s a question that needs to be asked again and again and again!

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