Would adoption be a better solution than reforming CYFS?

Lindsay Mitchell, who knows more about welfare than most seems to think so.

Watching Paul Henry interview Anne Tolley about the latest CYF report was very dissatisfying. There was no discussion of getting to the real core of the problem. Only the terrible statistical outcome for those children who went into state care in 1991, then a lot of blaming of current hierarchy followed by dogged promises of change.

1/ There will always be children born into circumstances that warrant their removal. But when you pay people to reproduce there will be more.

2/ In the past most of these children were put up for adoption. That outcome wasn’t always ideal but it was a better alternative than constant upheaval and removal from one placement to another. Adoption delivered a better result than the philosophy of striving to keep the child with its birth mother or blood family at any cost. Because ultimately the child ends up in state care anyway more damaged than it would have been if adopted out at birth.

3/ Increasingly there are people who want and cannot have children. That’s abundantly clear from the burgeoning fertility treatment industry. ?? Read more »

French Senate approves gay adoption

The cheese eating surrender monkeys are set for a whole lot of protest after the French Senate moved to?approve?gay adoption:

The French Senate has approved adoption for same-sex couples.

On the evening of 10 April, the second article of the ?Marriage for All? bill was adopted by the upper level of French parliament.

The vote came just one day after the Senate approved Article 1, the provision allowing gay couples to marry.

The Senate must now complete a review of the legislation in its entirety, although passage of both articles almost guarantees gay couples will soon be able to marry and adopt in France.? Read more »

Straight Adoption and Gay Marriage

Commenters on this blog, like Andrei and Lucia, and in general who oppose marriage equality always use the “procreation” argument to oppose marriage equality. They say it is un-natural, that gays can’t breed, and therefore there shouldn’t be marriage for “them”.

When challenged about infertile couples or indeed older couples and their right to marry they gloss voer the argument or ignore it entirely.

Tom Junod takes their?approach?personally and quite rightly objects:

I have been married for 28 years.?I met my wife in my freshman year of college. We started dating in my second semester, and have been so exclusive that we celebrate the anniversary of our first kiss rather than our wedding day. We met in our late teens; we are now in our mid-50s, and continue, with high hearts, the lifetime project of enduring the certainty of temporary hardship in order to keep alive the possibility of sustained joy. Though not regular churchgoers, we believe in marriage the way others believe in God, as something worthy of faith, commitment and sacrifice ? indeed, as a provision that God has made for the happiness of all his mortal creatures. We have never thought of our marriage as anything but pleasing to anyone who cared to judge it, and have never imagined that the sanctity of our marriage might threaten the sanctity of other marriages, not to mention the institution of marriage itself.

Until now.

What has changed our understanding of the way some people see our marriage is, of course, the general debate unleashed by the last two days of argument before the Supreme Court on the subject of same-sex marriage. No, my wife and I are not of the same sex; I am a man and she is a woman. But we are infertile. We did not procreate. For the past nine years, we have been the adoptive parents of our daughter; we are legally her mother and father, but not biologically, and since Tuesday have been surprised and saddened to be reminded that for a sizable minority of the American public our lack of biological capacity makes all the difference ? and dooms our marriage and our family to second-class status.? Read more »

Alcoholic Mum better than Gay Adoptive Parents?

Words fail me. How could anyone say that an alcoholic parent is a better one than a loving and caring couple of responsible lesbians or gay men?

LONDON, October 25, 2012, ( – Court of Appeal judges turned down a mother?s plea not to have her two children adopted by a homosexual couple.

The mother of the two boys, aged four and six, appealed an earlier court decision that ruled she was incapable of looking after her children because of alcoholism, when she discovered that councillors in the north London borough of Camden had decided the boys would be placed with two homosexual men.

Justice Dame Janet Smith, sitting with Lord Justice Longmore and Lady Justice Black at the Court of Appeal in Holborn, heard that the mother and the boys? father had been ?distressed? to learn that the prospective adopters were homosexuals.

Not distressed enough to actually look after the children. Not distressed enough to stop drinking.

The mother, described as a highly educated woman who had been ?very successful? in early life, and the father of the children had met at a detox clinic but had never beaten their dependence on alcohol. Last September, the children were taken from the mother and placed for adoption.

The mother began her battle to reclaim her children when she became aware of Camden Council?s decision in April.

At the Appeal Court, the mother?s lawyers stated that a month?s intensive treatment for her alcoholism had been successful and the woman had overcome her addiction. The court was told the woman attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings regularly, was now alcohol-free, and had severed her relationship with the children?s father.

In dismissing the mother?s appeal, Dame Janet commented that though the case revealed ?a sad human story? she believed the mother was ?out of touch with reality and capable of telling a pack of lies.?

?It is just too good to be true that a woman with the deep-seated shortcomings displayed by this mother could have been transformed in four weeks,? Dame Janet said.

Camden Council argued that the two homosexual men had successfully passed the selection process and the council was convinced they will ?provide a secure and loving home? for the children. They also pointed out that if the court found in favor of the mother, the ruling could have wide-ranging legal ramifications affecting the authority of local councils to place children with homosexual and lesbian couples.

Councillor Angela Mason, Camden?s cabinet member for children, said, ?The gay couple who have been approved to take over care from the mother went through a rigorous selection process and we are convinced they will provide a secure and loving home for the children.?

?The evidence was all one way,? Dame Janet concluded. ?This couple are suitable adoptive parents and there is no specific reason to think that the placement might fail.?

Andrei and Lucia Maria though, would argue that an abusive drunkard for a mother is better than two gay men or two lesbian women as parents.

Greens propose updating Adoption laws

Kevin Hague continues to impress me. He calmly covered the issues in a constructive manner with ACC and now he has put forward a comprehensive bill to modernise out very outdated adoption laws.

People may ask why I care about adoption. Well, my sister is adopted, and my mother was godmother to two adopted twins. So i have a wee bit of an interest in adoption laws:

The Greens have drafted a bill to overhaul adoption laws and allow adoption by same-sex couples, saying legislation about to be debated by Parliament doesn’t guarantee New Zealand’s antiquated legislation will change.

The member’s bill by Kevin Hague would enable gay adoption, something already being considered in two Labour bills already before Parliament by MPs Jacinda Ardern and Louisa Wall.

Hague’s bill is the result of cross party work with National MP Nikki Kaye. Labour was part of that work until MP Jacinda Ardern pulled out of the group last year and drafted her own bill to overhaul adoption laws.

While Hague’s bill has to be drawn from the member’s ballot before it is debated by Parliament, Ardern’s bill is expected to have its first reading within the next month.

Hague today said the Greens would not support Ardern’s bill because it required the Law Commission, which reviewed the 1955 Care of Children Act in 2000, to draft a bill and then for the Minister of Social Development at the time to introduce that legislation.

Even in the best case scenario, under Ardern’s bill it would be two or three years before a law was drafted, he said.

“I don’t think the process adds any advantage. It’s sole advantage is that it is already on the order paper. We already have a bill.”


Well done Young Nats

Yesterday at the National party conference the Young Nats managed to get their remit for tidying up the law on adoption for people in civil union partnerships through. This remit also allows for proper adoption options for all people in civil union partnerships regardless of sexual orientation.

There were a few strange speakers against the remit, but the conference voted by a margin of 60/40 in favour of their remit.

Good on them for picking and pushing a somewhat contentious issue through from regional conferences and now the National Conference.

They have learned now that despite whispers and threats to the contrary that if you follow the rules and the constitution and process you can actually achieve things despite the nay-sayers trying to stop you.

Well done.

Why are National Party conferences so boring?

This weekend is the National Party conference in Auckland. In the last five years conference has become dead boring, as the parliamentary wing has shut down any real discussion, so it is just ministers lecturing the conference from the stage.

This makes it about as much fun as a day and a half long school assembly, and with the board being unwilling or unable to stand up to the parliamentary wing this years conference is going to be so boring delegates would be well advised to bring a smart phone so they can surf while being lectured, or take an awful lot of precautionary recreational drugs.

About the only debate inside the venue that will have some life will be the Young Nats adoption remit, though the party?hierarchy?are already?marshaling?forces to try and hose this down from what I hear.

Leaving the only really interesting thing likely to happen is Sue Bradford and John Minto and a few of their rowdy mates might run a protest. John and Sue this time please work out which part of the venue you should invading as invading the wrong side of the venue just makes everyone think protesters are really, really stupid, not just smelly, dirty, uncouth and stupid.

UPDATE: Worse…just found out the dinner is a freakin’ smorgasbord FFS.

Chart of the Day

? Roy Morgan

According to the latest Roy Morgan Research “State of the Nation” Report, New Zealanders increasingly agree that homosexual couples should be allowed to adopt children. This has grown steadily over the past eight years from 38% to 56%.?During the same period, New Zealanders who believe homosexuality is immoral has decreased by nine percentage points (from 35% to 26%).?New Zealanders views on homosexuality

Missing the point

? NZ Herald

John Roughan writes about same-sex couple adopting, and mises the point completely:

Gay adoption has always seemed to me to be a step too far.

Marriage, sure. A couple’s genuine commitment is worthy of legal recognition. But adoption puts a child in the front line of a social challenge. I’m not sure that is fair.

It is not clear what sort of parentage was envisaged when the National Party’s northern conference voted last weekend for gay couples in a civil union to be legally entitled to adopt, or precisely what is in a bill that Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye says she has been working on with the Greens’ Kevin Hague.

It might go no further than to let a woman be a legal parent of a child born to her partner, which would be a fine thing to do. But in the name of gender equality it probably would allow a male couple to be legal parents too.

The Prime Minister was enthused by the conference vote. He said it showed the party was modern. His Government might even sponsor the bill, ensuring it gets on Parliament’s agenda, though MPs would have an independent “conscience” vote on any application to same sex couples.

The Prime Minister has every right to be enthused that the Young Nats are showing some initiative. But it is the next part of Roughan’s article that shows his grasp on the?intricacies?of the topic is tenuous.

Key must be encouraged by the public response so far. In the little discussion I’ve heard a consensus seems to agree with Kaye that the suitability of adoptive parents has nothing to do with their sexuality. As long as a child has a safe and loving home, nothing else matters.

But I can’t help wondering what happens when the child goes to school. Other children might not be as modern as the northern region of the National Party.

When the child goes to school I dare say a new entrants’ teacher will get the class seated on the mat and talk to them happily about all the different kinds of parents people can have, and mention, by the way, that Billy has two fathers.

I don’t think this would help Billy one bit, especially when the kids later innocently ask him whether he has two mothers too, or just one mother, or what? And things will only get harder when the class enters puberty and the kids are becoming much more intrigued by Billy’s household than they used to be.

This is specious argument. If the best argument he can come up with against same-sex couples being able to adopt is that the kids might get teased then the argument is over and he lost. The same reasoning could be used to set up a Commission of names to approve children’s names, given some of the sillynames out there this could have some merit.

And then John Roughan misses the point completely.

Adoption generally has become rare since the advent of the pill, easy abortion and benefits for sole parents. Gays applying to adoption agencies these days would join a sad waiting room of young heterosexual couples who have also been penalised by nature.

If the Kaye-Hague bill is going to ask agencies to disregard the sexual orientation of applicants when they assess their suitability, I think it would be asking too much. Since it mainly aims to update the law on surrogacy and other reproductive variants it might concentrate on adoptions that same-sex couples arrange for themselves.

The proposed bill and the remit of the Young Nats is not about Closed Adoptions, of which there are precious few, it is about open adoption, and about legacy. Basically the little known fact of civil unions is that the people in civil unions do not enjoy the same rights as married people whether or not they are heteroe-sexual couples of same-sex couples….adoption is just on area of this that needs addressing.

Well done Young Nats, Ctd

Back on 8 May I blogged about the Northern Region Young Nats putting up a remit regarding adoption:

That the National Party legalise adoption for those who have entered into a civil union partnership.

This morning at the Northern Region Convention that remit was passed.

Well done to the?Northern?Region Young Nats who put up that remit. It now goes to a policy committee to consider remits for the conference.

I will be watching closely to see if the party tries to bury it.