There are no ooops-babies with same-sex couples, no surprises. Our children are planned, every one of them. On average, we spend more time and money becoming parents than our heterosexual peers. That doesn't make us better parents, of course. But it does make us intentional parents. The accusation being thrown around that our children are somehow "at-risk" being raised in a home with two parents of the same gender is maddening, not to mention unfounded in quality research.
My partner and I are both social workers with Masters degrees from UC Berkeley. Sadly, we know first-hand what abused and neglected children look like. We've worked with families who lack the resources, many times by no fault of their own, to adequately support and care for their children. These are the at-risk kids. This is where our country should focus its attention.
Our two-year-old son has a secure attachment; he is developmentally advanced for his age, and in great health. If you ask him if he has a dad, he'll respond "no, two moms!!" At a very young age, he already understands that all families are different. Raised by two moms, he is compassionate and loving. He has no pre-conceived notions of gender norms and is permitted to grow into himself however he feels comfortable. He is surrounded by supportive adults and positive male role models, including three grandfathers, four uncles and a godfather. As an interfaith couple, our family is active in a local church, as well as a reform synagogue. So far, we have been able to keep him fairly unaware of the homophobia and hatred that he may encounter later in life due to having two moms, homophobia and hatred coming ironically from the very people who claim to be so concerned about his well-being.
Anyone who spends one hour with my child, or the children of other same-sex couples, will quickly realize that our kids truly are OK. I challenge the other side to do just that. Stop with the rhetoric and take the time to see for yourself the love and commitment so evident in families like mine. Our door is always open.
With a Perspective, I'm Amanda Hopping-Winn.
Amanda Hopping-Winn is associate director of the National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resources Center at UC Berkeley.