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If the legal parent in a gay relationship dies, who should get custody of the children?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 3, 2005

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Photo of Mark Higbie

“I think that if the partner of the legal guardian is a fit parent, then custody should be given to them.”

Photo of Margo Bell

“I think the other partner should be able to gain custody through the courts. It should probably be handled on a case-by-case basis.”

Photo of Nick Bowling

“I think that if it’s a healthy household, there is no reason the other partner shouldn’t be given custody.”

Photo of Barbara Starrett

“I think the child should stay with the surviving partner. Especially if they have raised the child since birth or adoption.”


adamsjayhawk 12 years, 10 months ago

Please note, with regard to the post by lunacydetector, that the American College of Pediatricians was seemingly created for the sole purpose of lending an air of legitimacy to a conservative, anti-gay-marriage agenda. Lunacydetector, quoting from the ACP lends no more credibility to your argument than if you had quoted from the Talon News. This is obvious after even a cursory glance at ACP's website, which lists as some of its "core values" that the organization:

Recognizes that good medical science cannot exist in a moral vacuum and pledges to promote such science.

Recognizes the fundamental mother-father family unit, within the context of marriage, to be the optimal setting for the development and nurturing of children and pledges to promote this unit.

The website goes on to provide resource links to the Christian Medical and Dental Association as well as the extremely conservative Focus on the Family organization.

Furthermore, please recognize that the most well-respected professional society for pediatricians in the US is the American Academy of Pediatrics, which was established in 1930. Its advocacy concerns problems like - oh - making sure children have health care.

Lunacydetector, if you want to have your opinions reinforced and repeated back to you by pseudo-legitimate organizations like the ACP, go back to watching Fox News and knock yourself out. Just don't try to pawn off your bigotry as medical fact - it only makes you look ignorant.

Richard Heckler 12 years, 10 months ago

If the child has been living inthis situation for several years leave it alone. Children don't often respond well to having their life turned upside down...if it's been a healthy loving relationship once again leave it alone.

This sounds like one of those questions that should never have been asked however it's good to see there were no hateful responses.

italianprincess 12 years, 10 months ago

No hateful responses yet you mean.

I'm sure there may be a couple here, its only 930 a.m.

As for the question of the day....... The child/children should remain with the spouce/partner in this situation. If they have been raising the child/children for many years then why would you tear a family apart and put anyone through a seperation. There are enough broken homes in the world already, and taking a child/children from a loving home may not be in the best interest of the child/children.

JHAWKGURL 12 years, 10 months ago

I believe that the child should remain. The child has already lost a parent....why take the other one away. Remember that we are not born narrow minded..... people aquire their narrow minds through life. In a childs eyes...he/she has two parents....the child does not care what their sexual orientation is. All he/she knows is that one of the loving parents is gone. If the other were taken from the child....who knows how that child will deal with that. SO sad that it has to happen. Morally, I believe it is wrong to take the child out of the home and causing more grief to he/she.

Carmenilla 12 years, 10 months ago

Of course the child should stay with the partner! I agree that the living situation should be assessed and it should be a case by case basis. It should be that way for any relationship, gay or straight. What is best for the child is what is important here. Of course the irony is that if the Marriage Amendment gets passed on April 5th, gay partners will have no rights.....ZERO!!! So if one of them dies then the family of the deceased could potentially fight for custody of the child and win.

remember_username 12 years, 10 months ago

I agree with the child staying with the other parent. One of the drawbacks to the marriage ban is that the child can be removed from the home if the biological parent dies. You can bet that this will arise and be cause for challenging the marriage ban. Sooner or later a child of a single sex couple will be decreed to be sole inheritor of a large estate since the single sex partner has no rights of inheritance. Then some relative will pop out of a pile somewhere and claim guardianship over the child. It will be argued in court that the other parent, regardless of fitness does not have a right to raise the child because of the ban. For those of you voting for the ban think about how this will make those kids feel, is that Christian?

The issue should always be what is best for the child in above cases, but there are judges who interpret homosexuality to be a sin and thus may take the child away from the surviving parent. If the republicans have their way in the Senate by blocking the filibuster rule they will be able to put more of these judges on the bench.

lunacydetector 12 years, 10 months ago

why are homosexuals allowed to adopt children in the first place?

last year, the American College of Pediatricians came out with a paper discouraging the rearing of children in homosexual households.

the report, "Homosexual Parenting: Is It Time For Change?" cites studies showing that children who are reared in traditional two-parent homes are "more likely to thrive emotionally, mentally, and physically in a home with two heterosexual parents versus a home with a single parent."

the report notes that "...current studies that appear to indicate neutral to favorable results from homosexual parenting have critical flaws such as non-longitudinal design, lack of proper controls, and failure to account for confounding variables."

however, some studies do show that "Children reared in homosexual households are more likely to experience sexual confusion, practice homosexual behavior, and engage in sexual experimentation. Adolescents and young adults who adopt the homosexual lifestyle, like their adult counterparts, are at increased risk of mental health problems, including major depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, substance dependence, and especially suicidal ideation and suicide attempts."

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