There are few hotter issues than gay adoption, but I’ve found one: a high profile lesbian woman deciding to conceive a child with no apparent intention of involving the biological father in the child’s life.
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported the openly gay daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney is pregnant. The same published report says Mary, 37, and her partner of 15 years, Heather Poe, 45, are “ecstatic” about the baby, due in late spring.
Before commenting on the report, it is important to mention what we don’t know.
We don’t know how she got pregnant, and quite honestly, it’s none of our business.
What we do know is that two lesbian women can’t make babies, and as good as both women may be as caretakers, neither of them can be Dad. We also know there is a dad out there and this child will be deprived of his presence.
Because people have strong opinions about homosexuality, gay marriage and gay adoption, it is very difficult to embark on any single issue without the conversation bleeding into the others. Gay issue advocates have succeeded in linking all three together by arguing they each stem from the principle of equal rights.
This story, however, of Mary Cheney and her partner, allows us the rare opportunity to examine the consequences of redefining the family to include homosexual couples, without getting bogged down with arguments about the moral status of homosexual behaviour.
In an interview last year in People Magazine, Mary Cheney was asked if she and Heather “plan on having a family.” Here, we see a classic case of Hollywood-style linguistic manipulation. It sounds very nice and tolerant to speak as if two women can plan their family in the same way that a married heterosexual couple can. However, when it comes to the wellbeing and education of children, niceties aren’t enough. Mary’s response was characteristically kind and considerate, but equally dismissive of the seriousness of bringing a fatherless child into this world: “That’s one Heather and I are going to have to talk about before I can tell you.”
The movement to redefine the family threatens to subvert children’s rights. Mary thought the decision to get pregnant with the help of a third party was serious enough to merit a long talk with her girlfriend, but thinks her child should have no say in being born into a fatherless home.
Spokespersons for activist groups — in this case gay rights activists — are among the most blatant perpetrators of linguistic manipulation. Reacting to the news of Mary Cheney’s pregnancy, the director of Family Pride, Jennifer Chrisler, said this: "Unless they move to a handful of less restrictive states, Heather will never be able to have a legal relationship with her child."
Why does Jennifer assume it’s Heather’s child too?
Many single mothers make great moms, but the ones I know are the first to say that nature (God) got it right with the complementary nature of the sexes, for both human reproduction and parenthood.
Trading a father or a mother for a third party lover may seem to make sense for the couple, but it will never make sense for the child.
But what is done is done. We now should celebrate the marvel of new life, a beautiful gift in every circumstance. I can understand why they are “ecstatic.”
I wish Mary, Heather and Mary’s child the very best.
God bless, Father Jonathan