… which I have no doubt will be blithely reported by our mainstream media as though it’s meaningful.
“Should families where there is both a mum and a dad have priority for the adoption of babies and children?”
The headline which purports to summarise the results:
Mum And Dad Matter For Adopted Kids – Poll
The question does not specify priority over whom.
Now, despite the frequent “echo chamber” bingos of rightwing trolldom, I don’t actually think that everyone does – or should – think exactly the same as me. I’m well aware that there are a lot of Ordinary New Zealanders out there who do not analyse every political statement they hear, who do not automatically ask “what about same-sex parents?” when someone talks about families.
And that’s why I feel comfortable suggesting that when a lot of Ordinary New Zealanders hear the question “should families with a mum and dad get priority?” they do not think “yes, hetero parenting setups are better than same-sex parenting setups”. They probably think “kids are better off with two parents than one.”
(This is still a little problematic to me in social-construct-y terms, but hey, families with two parents are almost certainly in better positions to raise children because our society shits on single parents from orbit, so I’ll let that one go.)
The point is: unless you give people full information – by asking, say, “should a heterosexual couple be given priority over a homosexual couple?” – then you simply cannot make the assumption that that’s what people’s answers mean. Especially when other polls indicate that New Zealanders are not, in fact, majority opposed to same-sex adoption.
Unless you’re Family First and you lie a lot.
The press release describes the poll as independent.
And I describe myself as the Queen of Sheba.
Marriage equality isn’t about gay men stealing babies.
The changes to our marriage legislation, which will give same-sex couples the same rights to adopt children as hetero couples, has a lot less to do with “stranger” adoption and a lot more to do with stories like this one.
Stranger adoption is pretty rare in New Zealand, for a start.
And under the current law, if I had my Own Biological Children and then had a civil union with a woman, who loved and cared for my kids for a decade, she would have no right to adopt my kids. Even though they were pretty much her kids, and even though if I’d married a dude instead it wouldn’t be a problem.
Our current law doesn’t just discriminate against committed loving same-sex couples adopting a “stranger” baby, creating a slightly ridiculous situation where an individual can adopt, then raise a child in a same-sex parenting household, with the other parent not being legally treated as a parent.
It also discriminates against same-sex couples who are, right now, raising kids together – often with one partner the biological partner and the other left to piss in the wind, legally speaking.
As the CYF website notes, the decision for who to adopt a child to (for individuals or hetero couples) comes down to the birth parent – and advises them “You can take your time to look carefully for a family that feels like the best fit for your child”. No one is forcing people to give their children to same-sex couples. They’re just not even being presented with the option.
It’s a bit fucking silly, when you think about it like that.
Polyamory, flatmates, and widows/widowers.
Not every family is based on a simple two-parents-who-fuck model. Once again, Family First, a group which takes upon itself the mantle of Protector Of All New Zealand Families, erases the existence of any number of family setups where children are, right now, being raised happy and healthy and well-rounded.
Family First is so dedicated to crapping on same-sex couples that they will even shit on people who are having to raise kids alone when their monogamous hetero partner has died:
A child has a right to a mum and a dad. Death, divorce and disaster may not always deliver that, but we should not set out in public policy to deny a child that basic right
Aren’t you glad, solo parents, that Family First is able to acknowledge that death has “delivered” a sub-optimal family situation for your child? That even when they do acknowledge that sometimes shit happens, they still want to emphasise that your child is disadvantaged, their rights are being breached, and you are incapable of raising them properly on your own.
And to the communities and extended families and friends and support networks who are pitching in to help those solo parents? Fuck you. You didn’t provide the jizz or the incubation facilities so you ain’t shit.
That’s Family First for you: obsessed with heterosexual sex, and willing to perform any linguistic gymnastics necessary to convince you that they’re just doing it for the kids.