The Rights of Children

I received this comment from Brandi Walton today :

‘What is your response to children who were raised by gays and say things like “I deserved a mom, or I wanted a dad.” “I wish I hadn’t been created just because two lesbians wanted a kid. It’s not fair I don’t know my other biological parent.”
I ask this sincerely.
Brandi’

The more I thought about it, the more I realised no short answer was possible because there are so many questions implied within that one comment. On the one hand there is the issue common to adopted children of not knowing who their biological parent[s] are and hence, not knowing what their own DNA/family heritage may be. That is real. And then there is the plaintive ‘I wanted a dad.’ I adored my Dad so I could hardly ignore that one. But what of :

  • ‘I deserved a mom’?
  • ‘I wish I hadn’t been created just because two lesbians wanted a kid’?

I believe every child deserves to be protected and cherished and loved. If any of those needs are not met then the child’s parents deserve to be censured, but I can’t see how their gender makes a difference. I also can’t see how their marital status makes a difference. There are bad married parents; there are bad de facto parents; there are bad single parents; there are parents who abandon their children, either to the state or to the care of grandparents or aunts and uncles; there are parents who should never have conceived a child at all because they lack the ability to look after themselves, let alone a child. But in all these sad situations, being gay is not the cause; being gay is simply a fact, like being blond rather than brunette.

Unfortunately, I suspect that Brandi is not talking about that kind of bad parenting; I think she is talking about parenting that makes the child feel ‘different’ to her peers. Not fitting in can be a terrible thing. I know because I have never fitted in.

My parents and I arrived in Australia when I was just four. We were asylum seekers from the Hungarian Revolution of 1957. We did not speak English and we acted ‘strange’. My Mother insisted on bringing me hot lunches and sitting with me at school while I ate. She also brought delicious cakes for the other little kids, but I would have preferred eating sand. But that was nothing compared to her insistence that I wear trousers during winter – ugly, boyish trousers while all the other little girls ran around in frilly skirts and short socks. They almost froze but at least they were…feminine.

And then there was that weird European obsession with learning. While the rest of the kids were having a good time and messing around, my Dad expected me to actually pay attention and learn stuff. Yup, I fit in so well I could have been scarred for life and yet, my parents were hetero.

Now, as a parent myself, I know that no matter how hard I try and how good my intentions may be, I will still get things wrong. But my daughter forgives me because she knows how much I love her.

And speaking of love, I have to say that my Dad was the best Dad on earth. He was a real hands-on father before the term was even invented. He helped me with my homework and took me to ballet classes, taught me to think logically and question everything while holding my hand as I learned how to rollerskate and ride a bicycle. He taught me about beauty and honour and justice, all without raising his hand against me.

My Dad was a good parent, a very good parent, but you know what? Dad was good because of who he was, not because he was a male. His maleness was irrelevant. It’s the person that counts, not the gender.

And finally the question about heritage. I cannot imagine not knowing my parents or the history of our family. Heritage is part of who we are. It’s not everything, but it is an important part and I believe all children should be given that information. The laws are slowly changing to reflect that need, but I can imagine that some children conceived with donor sperm may have a terrible need to know the other half of their heritage. Sadly, the need to use donor sperm is not restricted to lesbian couples and the heartache of the children concerned is a deficit of the law rather than the relationship between the parents.

Finally, I have to wonder whether the child of lesbian parents is so bitter because she lacks a father, or because she clashes with her mother the way I clashed with mine?

My hope is that one day we will all take marriage equality for granted and allow little kids to go to school without being tormented for being ‘different’. I was tormented for looking different; boys like Kenneth James Weishuhn are tormented for being gay. Does any child deserve that? I don’t think so.

-hugs-

Meeks

 

 

 

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

23 responses to “The Rights of Children

  • Honie Briggs

    “I believe every child deserves to be protected and cherished and loved.” That really covers everything. Your thoughtful consideration of the question makes me so proud to know (well sort of) you. Your ability to separate the question into manageable pieces, I suspect, comes from your parents, and in many ways makes you a good parent. We should all be so lucky to have such parents. Sadly, many don’t.

    Like

    • acflory

      -hugs- I wasn’t kidding when I said my Dad was a wonderful parent. And despite our personality clashes, my Mum was a loving, protective parent as well, perhaps a little too protective. I’ve tried to pay that love and care forward to my own daughter, but you’re right, far too many kids never know what it feels like to be so cherished.

      Like

  • Carrie Rubin

    I echo Honie. What you said here: “I believe every child deserves to be protected and cherished and loved.”—Indeed! Whether it be from a single parent, a mother and a father, two fathers, or two mothers, love and support is what’s most important. Sadly, some children don’t get to know their other biological parent, whether their parents are gay or straight (e.g., a father dies before a child is born or deserts the mother and child). We do the best we can with what we have while also not denying who we ourselves are. And we offer love. Lots and lots of love.

    Like

  • davidprosser

    Beautifully said Meeks. I don’t believe that any child loved and nurtured would say those things, “I deserved a mom, or I wanted a dad.” “I wish I hadn’t been created just because two lesbians wanted a kid. It’s not fair I don’t know my other biological parent.” If the child did then it’s more a reflection on the parenting than the sexual preference of the parents.And being gay doesn’t make you a bad parent as we can see from other children raised by gay couples.
    The tragedy is that there are badly adjusted children from hetero families as there are well adjusted ones and there may well be badly adjusted ones from gay parents.
    The only thing that needs to be taken into account is the care of the child and nurture of same and gay couples are just as likely to make a good job of it as anyone else.Maybe better since the birth will have been considered and not just a random pregnancy/accident.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Like

  • Candy Korman

    All parents —even the best—screw up sometimes and the more I listen to stories from both parents and children, the more I conclude that sometimes there’s a cosmic mismatch between the kind of parent a child needs and the kind he or she gets. That being said, it’s not about the gender of the parent. It’s about all sorts of other things. I know all to many people who grew up in “conventional” families and suffered from emotional, psychological or sexual abuse. I also know same sex couples that have provided, and continue to provide, loving and supportive homes for their children.

    Like

  • EllaDee

    The best way for me to respond is with the words of Kahil Gibran…
    “… Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you,
    And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
    For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.”

    We’re each of us different but the same although our perceptions of this are different too. We are all perfectly imperfect regardless of the status or circumstances of our parenting, and there are no guarantees regardless.

    Like

  • Problems With Infinity

    Beautifully written and I am totally with you in the hope “…that one day we will all take marriage equality for granted and allow little kids to go to school without being tormented for being ‘different’.”

    Like

  • michellinafication

    As a child it can be horrid not having access to that heritage. I lived 40 years without knowing anything; I’m glad the laws are changing for the young ones now. As far as gender goes, all that matters is the child is loved. Can’t really ask for more than that I reckon 🙂

    Like

    • acflory

      Thanks, Michellina. Sorry this response is late but as Mr. Merveilleux says below, the WP issue is getting more annoying – I did not get a notification of this comment at all. 😦

      All of that said, to the heart of your comment, ’40 years without knowing anything’. I can only imagine the effect that had on you, because clearly those were 40 years of /wanting/ to know. 😦 I hope that you now have some resolution.

      -big hugs-

      Like

  • Mr. Merveilleux

    I can’t believe I missed this. The wordpress reader affair is seriously not working. I’m going to try un-following and re-following.

    Like

  • Mr. Merveilleux

    Getting back to the post itself: This topic is amusing. I remember going home after a wedding I attended with my grandmother (when I was a child) and being a little bit sulky. We were sat in the back seat of a very big car and knowing me well my grandmother went into a long explanation on why it was okay that we were us vs. being like some of the people we knew. Why we had a sailing yacht rather than the motor variety. How we weren’t titled but how that made no difference because had titled origins and x, y and z.
    Any of us can pick or choose certain things from our childhoods that we obsessed about. The parent who didn’t achieve the professional success, the house wasn’t on the right street, the mother who might not have baked as well as she should have… to pick out any of those things and scapegoat it is a most pathetic form of manipulation.

    Like

    • acflory

      One of the unspoken things about having something negative [small negative not big negative] in your childhood is that it often acts as a goad, pushing /us/ to do better. And of course, in the end, we all have to stop blaming our parents for the things that aren’t perfect in our lives. If our lives are to have any meaning, we have to own them, and we have to make the best of whatever talents or strengths we’ve been given.

      Like

  • Brandi Walton

    I wish I had seen this sooner. How do you explain something to someone that they’ve never experienced? I yearned for a father. I yearned for a male presence. Males and females are different. Period. Each has characteristics that are unique. Children from single mother households yearn for a dad, and it’s ok. Even expected. Children from children father households yearn for mothers, and it’s ok. Even expected. But the offspring of a homosexual yearns for their missing parent, and they’re awful, bratty bigots who should just grow up and be glad they had two people who loved them! “Love is all you need.” Sigh…. You’ll never know what’s it like because you had a mother and a father yet you condone keeping that reality from other children when plenty of us have talked about how much it hurt. It’s shameful. And heartbreaking.

    Like

    • acflory

      Curious. You commented, and I answered in August, 2015, well over a year ago. If you were sincerely asking what I thought, why did it take you 17 months to read my response?
      I answered sincerely and with compassion, but now I can’t help feeling I was trolled.

      Like

      • Brandi Walton

        I apologize. I never saw your response until just now. And I only saw it because I was searching for something and your blog post showed up. I hate to admit this but keeping up with comments has been a little daunting because I don’t get on my blog very often.

        Like

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