A new national study in this month’s American Sociological Review claims that “Adoptive parents invest more time and financial resources in their children than biological parents.” Indiana University sociologist Brian Powell, one of the study’s three co-authors, explains:
One of the reasons adoptive parents invest more is that they really want children, and they go to extraordinary means to have them. . . . Adoptive parents face a culture where, to many other people, adoption is not real parenthood. What they’re trying to do is compensate. . . . They recognize the barriers they face, and it sets the stage for them to be better parents.
You’re probably already thinking of the next part:
The researchers said their findings call into question the long-standing argument that children are best off with their biological parents. Such arguments were included in state Supreme Court rulings last year in New York and Washington that upheld laws against same-sex marriage.
The researchers said gay and lesbian parents may react to discrimination by taking extra, compensatory steps to promote their children’s welfare.
The ultra-right is, not surprisingly, dismissing the research’s applicability to same-sex parents, saying the study focused on opposite-sex couples. I say the main point is that biological parenthood is not destiny, regardless of sexual orientation. Assuming the sociologists’ research is sound, the study could be important evidence in both marriage-equality cases and individual custody cases involving one bio and one non-bio parent.