Sunday, 13 September 2009

Adoption: are children commodities to meet the needs of others?

There might well be more to Elton John's suggestion that he would like to adopt a child than has appeared in the media (though the wording of coverage such as this and this seems to suggest that it has been generated by Elton John himself). From a political point of view, one wonders whether what we are actually seeing is an attempt to extend the fashion for "celebrity adoption" into gay adoption.

Elton John's suggestion does raise any number of questions - and one hopes that any attempt by Elton John to go through with an adoption will be subjected to the same examination and safeguards as would apply to others seeking to adopt.

Is an on-the-spot, perhaps emotional, reaction to meeting a child sufficient grounds for a serious wish to adopt that child?

Should a serious attempt to adopt a child - if that is what it proves to be - be announced in the media, thereby creating a momentum that makes it difficult for due scrutiny to be given to the request?

What influence will the fact that Elton John and David Furnish are a high profile same-sex couple have on the outcome of the scrutiny of an attempt to adopt a child? In the present cultural environment, will it create a presumption in favour that would not exist in a similar situation with an opposite sex couple?

And, within the scheme of things in the UK, it is the "best interests of the child" that are meant to be paramount, whereas, assuming that the media quotation of Elton John is accurate, a large part of this seems to be about Elton John meeting his own needs:
[Elton] John said the death of his long-term keyboardist, Guy Babylon, had also helped change his mind.
"Last week I lost one of my best friends ... It broke my heart because he was such a genius and so young and has two wonderful children. What better opportunity to replace someone I lost than to replace him with someone I can give a future to."


Anonymous said...

zero says
It seems to be a spur of the moment wish to adopt THIS child- would adopting another be as attractive?
As Elton says, he is 62-his friend-a whole 10 years younger- died ,would it be wise to adopt a child so young?
I think older people , here ,tend to be matched with a child of an age they could be the parent of which does sound sensible.
It came to my mind those two boys in Yorkshire that were in the press last weeek for attacking and leaving for dead another 2 boys.Their own background of emotional and physical neglect by their own parents was as sad a tale as you could read.
I can't help but think if they only had the chance of a loving home - be it with two people of the same sex or not- how different their lives and futures would be.

Joe said...

Further observations on the suggestion that Elton John will adopt a child can be found here: