Kids Need A Mum And A Dad

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Every child should have a gay uncle, to teach them how to dress, take them clubbing and give them their first line of coke, but gay parents? As a party-hard homosexual myself, I’m not so sure.

We learned this morning of a mother whose child has been taken away from her, even though the baby was not at risk of any harm, and given to a gay couple with whom she had a surrogacy arrangement that seems to have broken down.

A woman and two gays in a legal agreement. What could go wrong? The mum in question was accused of using breastfeeding as a weapon against the gay wannabe dads, though it’s not clear from the reporting how this might have been the case.

Even worse, she has been gagged by the High Court, so she cannot tell her story. It is essential to the British understanding of justice that it should be seen to be done, but in this case the public has been denied the right to hear from her and make up its mind about the case.

Justice Alison Russell apparently objected to the mother’s claims that they gay relationship in question was “on-off” and that at least one of the partners was “promiscuous.” But the mother was almost certainly right.

The fact is, most gay relationships are not exclusive, whether by arrangement or cheating. A disproportionately high number involve domestic violence—a fact rarely reported on by the media, which prefers to depict gay relationships as glistening utopias full of rainbows, love, progressive politics and Britney Spears.

It’s bizarre to me that the legal system in this country seems to discriminate so blatantly against fathers… unless, of course, they’re gay, in which case there’s a presumption that they must be well-adjusted, groovy “community leaders” with alphabetised CD collections and perfectly coiffed hair.

The reality is different. Lesbians, in particular, are famous for kicking the shit out of each other, but gay dads too can be cruel and we are starting to see children brought up by single-sex couples share their stories in the media. On the whole, the results are disturbing, and suggest a disproportionately high number of miserable kids.

It isn’t bigoted to point out these things, but worryingly it seems as though the judge in this case is out to prove what a modern, accepting person she is – branding an innocent mother “homophobic” in the process.

That gagging order is sinister, isn’t it? I mean, I’ve been given a gagging order by a judge before, but it didn’t relate to anything as serious as child custody and wasn’t dished out just to protect him from scrutiny. (We had different paperwork for that.)

A friend of the mother, who spoke to the Daily Mail even though it could mean he is imprisoned for contempt of court, said she was a loving parent: “Any accusation that she is homophobic is utter nonsense.

“When we first went to court we could not believe this was happening, and that losing her baby was an option. It is astounding.”

I wouldn’t adopt a child, because I don’t think two dads is the right start in life for a young baby. As a gay man, obviously I’m not a homophobe. And I’m not hugely worried about the prospect of “turning my son gay,” as that seems relatively unlikely.

But it’s worth pointing out that no scientist claims to know the precise balance of nature and nurture that go into deciding whether or not someone will be gay. And there are people who do choose it, as a result of their early life experiences, rather than having it thrust upon them.

The objections to same-sex parenting and adoption are practical as much as moral or scientific. Imagine the ridicule that poor child will be exposed to at school, for example, when it is discovered that dad is really mum—and that there’s another dad at home. And imagine the confusion the child will experience trying to work out why he or she is different from all the other kids around him.

There will be people who say: with so many children needing a good home, surely all that matters is that a household is stable and loving? Well, first of all I’d question, based on my own experience, how stable a gay household can ever really be.

It’s hard enough being bullied in school because you’re adopted. But the stigma being adopted by Adam and Steve is a recipe for social suicide. At least one study says that children with gay parents grow up with more emotional problems.

As for loving, I’m sure there are plenty of young people who had perfectly happy childhoods growing up with two mums or two dads. But there are many, too, who didn’t. And where we can avoid these odd and possibly harmful set-ups, I think we ought to.

All else being equal, there ought to be a presumption in favour not only of biological parents but of heterosexuals, and possibly even single parents. Plenty of gay couples say they want kids, but from the child’s point of view this ought to be a last resort.

Call me old-fashioned, but I think babies need a mum and a dad. In this case, where there was, by the court’s own admission, no risk to the child, I find it appalling that a baby has been snatched from his mother’s loving care and thrown into what could be a deeply dysfunctional home life.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.