The question if same-sex couples can be as good parents as opposite-sex couples is being risen an all countries and states that deal with the legalization of same-sex relationships. As soon as a same-sex couple have a right to officially register its’ relationship, the next step is always the right of a couple to have children. Taking into consideration the constantly growing number of countries that allow same-sex marriages (or civil unions), the question of children in same-sex unions is getting more crucial. This issue is essential, as same-sex and opposite-sex couples will be considered equal if only their rights are equal. And the right to have children (either adopt or give birth) is as important as common property rights or inheritance rights. Therefore it is significant to give same-sex couples the right to adopt children because this will lead to the recognition of their equality. Currently there are no proven facts showing that same-sex couples are worse or less capable of raising children than opposite-sex couples. Taking into consideration the relevancy of this matter, this argument is aimed at proving that same-sex couples can be good parents.
One of the criteria of being a “good parent” is the ability to support one’s family financially. Some may argue that this criterion is not as important as some moral standards or emotional unity with a child. But in fact financial stability is one of the primary criteria for considering a family to be suitable for adoption. Parents should be able to provide children with all the basic necessities. Only in this case a child will not feel the superiority of other kids. Good parents don’t have to be extremely rich, but they have to be able to provide their child with good-quality everyday essentials: food, clothes, all school stationery, as well as toys. By satisfying the basic needs of a kid parents will be able to comply with the simplest standard of being a good parent. Therefore financial stability of parents is named as a first criterion of good parenthood.
Good parents are positive role models for their children. This is the point at which the argument moves from material world to the moral aspects of parenting. Parents are providers in the family. And except material things, they provide examples as well. From parents children lean how to behave, react in different situations, and how to build relationships with other people. Till puberty, when parental examples are replaced with peers and celebrities, children look at their parents while making decisions, establishing own values and behavioral patterns. Hence, parents should be very careful around their children. Adults must understand that each their move and word is perceived as an example by younger generation. And, therefore, it is a huge responsibility. Good parents should not only be ready for such responsibility, but they ought to set proper examples for children. All the lessons learned in childhood will be implemented in adult life. Thus being a good role model is an essential element of proper parenting.
The third criterion is the ability of parents to devote their time to children. Being a good, moral person and having financial stability is still not enough to be a proper parent. Attention is one thing, which children require from birth and till they become independent. And this attention can be provided if parents have enough free time and if they are willing to spend this time with kids. There might be cases of employed parents who hire nannies who take care of children. Although to some extend that might be an option, at the same time parents’ attention is still necessary. Because even while being surrounded by hired personnel a child will feel abandoned by the closest people s/he has. Therefore parents should be able to spare some time in their busy schedules in order to spend it with children. And this will give a real feeling of importance to children. Another case is parents who have free time but no interest in own children and their activities. Accordingly, only those who have free time and are willing to spend it with children can be considered good parents.
Of course, someone might say that there are much more criteria of good parenthood. One might argue that these specifications do not cover such emotional aspects as care and devotion, or that they are extremely vague. At the same time the critics might say that material element is not of the highest importance for good parents. Moreover, someone might argue that happiness of a child cannot be provided if all the abovementioned factors are present. These comments might be true to some extend, as the idea of a “good parent” is a subjective one. But at the same time the three mentioned criteria are quite wide and cover both moral and material aspects.
The first criterion might be a match for this case, but not always. Same-sex marriages have the same chance for being financially stable as the opposite-sex couples. But at the same time only couples with stable income are the ones looking for the options for parenthood. Thus first criterion can be applied to the presented case, if it is restated: same-sex couples that are planning to be parents are financially stable and are thus fit the first criterion.
The second criterion covers the studied case, but only if certain values are perceived as “normal” or “good”. The perception of same-sex relationships as either proper or improper behavior shapes the overall recognition of homosexuals as role models. This argument is based on the idea that same-sex couples are equal to opposite-sex couples. An in this case same-sex parents are able to be positive role models to children and therefore fit the second criterion.
Lastly, the third criterion of good parenthood is the ability to devote time and attention to children. Taking into consideration the fact that same-sex couples perceive parenthood as an important choice in life and carefully reflect on all the complications they might have, one should assume that this element of parenthood is taken into account as well. Moreover, same-sex couples avoid two main situations that lead to child neglecting: accidental pregnancies and parenthood at an early age. A homosexual couple makes a careful decision to get a baby, thus this couple as aware of all the child’s needs. Consequently, same-sex couples fit the third criterion of good parenthood.
Of course, all the mentioned matches can be argued if one perceives same-sex relationships as a negative example and “wrong” type of behavior. But this argument is aimed at societies that have already recognized legal background of same-sex relationships. Moreover, this discussion takes into consideration multiple researches of homosexual couples that raise children. And neither of the studies has shown any negative impact of parents’ sexual orientation on the younger generation.
This argument has shown that same-sex marriages fit three criteria of “good parents”: financial stability, being a good role model, and ability to devote time to children. Therefore same-sex couples should be granted the right to become parents on the same basis, as opposite-sex couples. Only by giving this right to homosexuals society will show that everyone is equal and there is no discrimination on basis of sexual orientation. And even if someone does not support same-sex relationships, he or she should think of children, who will have two loving parents. And this is the case when feelings and care mean much more than sexual orientation.