Gay Adoption Policy Analysis Essay
Social attitudes about family life have undergone profound changes in recent decades. While public acceptance of homosexuality remains a deeply decisive issue, adoption by gays and lesbians has become increasingly acceptable, with 46% of the national population favoring gay adoption. (Pew Research Center, 2006) In New York State, statutes developed to permit gays to adopt are among the most permissive in the nation. New York Adoption Code 18 NYCRR 421.16 (h)(2) (2004) states that "applicants shall not be rejected solely on the basis of homosexuality", which expressly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation when determining who may adopt.
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Since the beginning of history and in cultures across the globe, children have been transferred from parents who couldn't or didn't want to care for them to others who wanted them for love, labor or property. In America, states began passing legislation concerning adoption in the nineteenth century, beginning with the Massachusetts Adoption of Children Act, enacted in 1851. (O'Brien & Zamostry, 2003) This act required judges to determine that adoptive parents had sufficient ability to raise a child, and is considered the first adoption law. This law also required written concsent of the birthparents and dissolved all legal ties between them and their biological child. (O'Brien & Zamostry, 2003) Most importantly, this act began the process of required court approval for all adoptions, and appointed state courts, rather than federal courts, to carry out the process.(Modell, 1994) Over the next 25 years, 24 other states followed in passing similar laws.
In following years, Charles Loring Brace, founder of the New York Children's Aid Society, concluded that orphan