Presentation on theme: "Procreation, Family Relations, and the Need to Revive A Child-Centered Society by Lynn D. Wardle Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law J. Reuben Clark Law School."— Presentation transcript:
Procreation, Family Relations, and the Need to Revive A Child-Centered Society by Lynn D. Wardle Bruce C. Hafen Professor of Law J. Reuben Clark Law School Brigham Young University Provo, UT Paper presented to The American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals - Annual Meeting Salt Lake City, UT July 11, 2012
Outline I.Introduction II.Indicators of the waning of child-centeredness in our society III.The Status and Trend of Laws re: marital families IV.Does It Matter? Why? V.Conclusion: We Must Speak Up for the Marital Family for the Sake of our Children Thesis: The most chied-friendly, child-supportive family environment is the marital family (Mom & Dad)
I. Introduction: Lest We Take Ourselves Too Seriously
N.D. yoga teacher Nadine Schweigert marries herself, exchanging rings with her “inner groom”
II. Trends Toward The Disintegration of a Child-Centered Society “It was the best of times it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us we had nothing before us....” -Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859).]
Percentage of Couples Cohabiting Without Marriage unmarriedhttp://familyfacts.org/charts/110/one-in-10-couples-living-together-is- unmarried (seen 11 March 2011), citing U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 2010.
The Annual Marriage Rate has Fallen Dramatically Number of Marriages per 1000 Women age 15+ (seen 11 March 2011), citing Statistical Abstract of the United States, National Vital Statistics Reports, and The Heritage Foundation, 2010.
Pew (2011): Marriage Has Dropped In Importance for Young Adults in US Wendy Want & Paul Taylor, For Millennials, Parenthood Trumps Marriage, Pew Research Center, available at (seen 14 March 2011).
There is “a growing ‘marriage gap’ between moderately and highly educated America[ns]. Among the affluent, marriage is stable and may even be getting stronger. Among the poor, marriage continues to be fragile and weak. But the most consequential marriage trend of our time concerns the broad center of our society, where marriage, the iconic middle-class institution, is foundering. “The United States is increasingly a separate and unequal nation when it comes to the institution of marriage. Marriage is in danger of becoming a luxury good. Recent lifestyle patterns have “reduced the child centeredness of [the United States]… Similar patterns exist in most western European nations. Wilcox & Marquardt, State of Marriage 2010
Source: W. Bradford Wilcox & Elizabeth Marquardt, The State of Our Union; Marriage in America 2010 (2010)at p. 21.
Number of divorces per 1,000 married women (age 15+)
Year All Races Number Rate/1000 live births White Number Rate/1000 live births Non-White Number Rate/1000 live births , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,165, , ,700 bl 667 bl ,347, , ,000 bl 685 bl 20051,527, bl 20071,714, U.S. CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK
Birth Rate for Unmarried Nearly Rate for Married Women The gap between married and unmarried birth rates has narrowed, The Heritage Foundation, 2011, at
Fig. 1. Percentage of US Children born out of marriage Source: unwed-mothers (citing U.S. Census Bureau, National Center for Health Statistics, 2010.)http://familyfacts.org/charts/205/more-than-four-in-10-children-are-born-to- unwed-mothers
American children under eighteen years-old living with a single parent One in four children lives in a single-parent home, The Heritage Foundation, 2011, at
Due to divorce and child-bearing out of wedlock, barely half (only 52%) of 14-year-old girls whose parents are poorly-educated live with both their mother and father, and only 58% of girls of moderately-educated parents; while 81% of such girls whose parents are highly-educated live with both of their parents. --Wilcox & Marquardt
REDUCTION OF CHILDBEARING: Due to low fertility rates, a “demographic winter” is descending upon Europe. British historian Niall Ferguson calls this imminent demographic change “the greatest sustained reduction in European population since the Black Death of the 14 th Century.” Births are below replacement level (2.1 births per couple) in over 70 nations. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that none of the nations of Europe can maintain their population (necessary for economic sustainability) through births, that only France, (with a birth rate of 1.8) has the possibility to do so. In fifteen European nations the rate of fertility is 1.3 or below, -- (a birthrate of 1.4 or 1.5 means that the population will decrease by one-third each generation). The United Nations Report on World Populating Ageing notes: “[T]he average total fertility rate in the more developed regions [of the world] has dropped from an already low level of 2.8 children per woman in to an extremely low level of 1.5 children per woman in Presently, the total fertility rate is below the replacement level in practically all industrialized countries. In 19 of those countries, the rate is under 1.3 children per woman.”
Public Attitudes Source: Lydia Saad, “Americans Still Split Along ‘Pro-Choice,’ ‘Pro-Life’ Lines” Gallup, May 23, 2011 at From William C. Duncan, paper presented at BYU Law School, January 2012.
Abortion and Family Structure Source: Lawrence B. Finer & Mia R. Zolna, “Unintended Pregnancy in the United States: Incidence and Disparities, 2006” 84 Contraception 478 (2011) at (graphic: David Schmidt, Live Action at__) (From William C. Duncan, paper presented at BYU Law School, January 2012.)
Legalation of SSM The Legal Status of Same-Sex Unions in the USA and Globally 1 July 2012 A.Legal Allowance of Same-Sex Unions in the USA (50 states + DC): * Same-Sex Marriage Legal: Six (6) USA States (+ DC) (+2 of 564 U.S. Indian tribes) Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York (and the District of Columbia) (+Washington (June 12) & Maryland (2013) if no ballot veto; formerly CA (5 mos). Same-Sex Unions Equivalent to Marriage Recognized in Ten (10) US States: California, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington,* Illinois, Hawaii, Delaware, Maryland,* & RI (IL, HI DE & RI in 2011; WA & MD SSM laws passed but may be blocked before effective) Same-Sex Unions Registry & Specific, Limited Benefits in Three (3) US Jurisdictions: Colorado, Maine, and Wisconsin. Compare Status of Same-Sex Relationships Nationwide, Lambda Legal, August 19, 2011, available at (last viewed 20 August 2011). *Compare Status of Same-Sex Relationships Nationwide, Lambda Legal, August 19, 2011, available at (last viewed 20 August 2011).
B.Legal Rejection of Same-Sex Unions in the USA: Same-Sex Marriage Prohibited by State Constitutional Amendment in Thirty-one (31) States (62%): Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina (2012), North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. (+ Maine “People’s Veto” vote overturned legislation legalizing SSM in ME before the law took effect) (SMA passed in May 2012 in NC (61%) & will be on ballot in in 2012 MN &??; good chance for measures to allow voters to vote on SMAs in WY, IN, & IA; & to repeal SSM in NH) Same-Sex Civil Unions Equivalent to Marriage Recognition Prohibited by State Constitutional Amendment in Twenty (20) States (40%): Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Same-Sex Marriage Barred by Constitution, Statute or Appellate Decision in Forty-two (42) States (All but states with same-sex marriage and New Mexico and Rhode Island) In all 32 states in which same-sex marriage has been on the ballot the people (including Maine where in 2009 a “people’s veto” of the legislature’s approval of same-sex marriage was rejected by the “people’s veto”) have decisively rejected same-sex marriage. The total vote rejecting same-sex marriage in votes on the 31 state marriage amendments combined is over 60%.
Three Types of State Marriage Amendments Ten SMAs Protect Status of Marriage: AK, AZ, CA, CO, MS, MO, MN, NV, OR, TN E.g., “To be valid or recognized in this State, a marriage may exist only between one man and one woman.” Alaska Const., Art. I, sec. 25 (1998) Twenty SMAs Protect Substance of Marriage (Forbid Giving Equivalent Substance to DPs or CUs) : AL, AR, FL, GA, ID, KS, KY, LA, MI, NB, NC, ND, OH, OK, SC, SD, TX, UT, VI, WI E.g., “Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect. ” Utah Const., Art. I, sec. 29 (2004) One SMA Protects Government Structure to define marr (Legisl. Can Ban SSM) : HI “The Legislature shall have the power to reserve marriage to opposite-sex couples.” Haw. Const., Art. I, sec. 23 (1998) (Overall voter approval rates for state marriage amendment is 60%+ )
The Legal Status of Same-Sex Unions in the Globally Legal Status – 1 July 2012 A.Legal Allowance of Same-Sex Unions Globally (of 193 Nations / UN): Same-Sex Marriage Permitted in Ten (10) Nations : The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, and Argentina, and Denmark (SSM allowed in sub-jurisdictions of some other nations (e.g., the USA, Mexico (City); by specific-case court decisions in some nations (BRZ); some nations recognize but do not allow SSM; some allow both SSM and other unions.) Same-Sex Unions Equivalent to Marriage Allowed in Sixteen (16) Other Nations: Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Luxembourg, South Africa, Slovenia, Andorra, Brazil, Switzerland, UK, Uruguay, New Zealand, Austria, Ireland, Liechtenstein (and some sub-jurisdictions in other nations such as Australia, the USA, etc.) Same-Sex Partnerships (Formal but Not Equal to Marriage) Legally Recognized in At Least Six (6) Nations: Australia, Columbia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel.
B. Global rejection of SSM At Least Forty-five (45) of 193 Sovereign Nations (24%) Have Constitutional Provisions Explicitly or Implicitly Defining Marriage as Union of Man and Woman Constitutions of Armenia (art. 32), Azerbaijan (art. 34), Belarus (art. 32), Bolivia (art. 63), Brazil (art. 226), Bulgaria (art. 46), Burkina Faso (art. 23), Burundi (art. 29), Cambodia (art. 45), Cameroon (art. 16), China (art. 49), Columbia (art. 42), Cuba (art. 43), Democratic Republic of Congo (art. 40), Ecuador (art. 38), Eritrea (art. 22), Ethiopia (art. 34), Gambia (art. 27), Honduras (art. 112), Hungary (art. M, Constitution/Basic Law of Hungary (25 April 2011) (effective Jan. 2012); Japan (art. 24), Latvia (art Dec. 2005), Lithuania (art. 31), Malawi (art. 22), Moldova (art. 48), Mongolia (art. 16), Montenegro (art. 71), Namibia (art. 14), Nicaragua (art. 72), Panama (art. 58), Paraguay (arts. 49, 51, 52), Peru (art. 5), Poland (art. 18), Romania (art. 44), Rwanda (art. 26), Serbia (art. 62), Seychelles (art. 32), Spain (art. 32, disregarded or overturned by legislation),* Sudan (art. 15), Suriname (art. 35), Swaziland Constitution (art. 27), Tajiksistan (art. 33), Turkmenistan (art. 25), Uganda (art. 31), Ukraine (ark. 51), Venezuela (art. 77), Vietnam (art. 64). See also Hong Kong Bill of Rights of 1991 (art. 19); Somalia (art. 2.7, draft Consti.); 12 of these imply (“men and women”). (* = inconsistent with Spanish law allowing same-sex marriage); Examples: Article 110, Constitution of Latvia: “The State shall protect and support marriage—a union between a man and a woman,…” Article 42, Constitution of Columbia: the family “is formed... by the free decision of a man and woman to contract matrimony....” Article 24, Constitution of Japan: “Marriage shall be based only on the mutual consent of both sexes and it shall be maintained through mutual cooperation with the equal rights of husband and wife as a basis....”
Global (US) Progress of Same-Sex Marriage, and Marriage Equivalent Civil Unions or Partnerships, YEAR Number of 193 Sovereign Nations (& States) That Allow Same-Sex Marriage Number of 193 Sovereign Nations (& States) That Allow Same-Sex Civil Unions (1) (1)13 (3) (1)15 (6) 2009Au 2012 July 7 (6) 10 (6 + DC & 2/564 tribes) 5 % (12%) (00.4%) 13(5) 16 (10) 8% (20%)
Adoption by Same-Sex Partners: USA 50 state survey Allows Homosexual Singles to Adopt? (All 50 states + DC) Yes: All 50 states allow qualified homosexual singles to adopt Allows Same-Sex Couples to Jointly Petition to Adopt? (15 states Yes or Probably; 22 states no or probably) Yes: 12 states (AL, CA, CO, D.C., IN, ME, MA, NV, NH, NJ, NY, OR, VT) Probably Yes: 3 states (CT, IL, WA) Uncertain: 14 states (FL, ID, IA, MD, MN, MO, NE, NM, ND, PA, RI, TX, VA, WY Probably No: 17 States (AL, AK, AZ, AR, DE, GA, HI, KS, KY, LA, MT, OK, SC, SD, TN, WV, WI) No: 5 states (UT, OH, NC, MS, MI) Same-Sex Second Parent Adoptions? (12 states Yes or Probably; 19 states no or probably) Yes: 11 States (CA, CT, DE, D.C., IN, MA, NV, NJ, NY, PA, VT) Probably Yes: 1 State (IL) Uncertain: 20 states (AK, CO, FL, GA, HI, ID, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MI, MN, MO, NM, ND, OR, RI, VA, WA) Probably No: 13 states (AL, AZ, AR, MS, MS, MT, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, WV, WY) No: 6 states (KY, NE, NC, OH, UT, WI) Updated by Travis Robertson, Research Assistant, July 9, 2012
Global Status of Legality of Adoption by Gay and Lesbians Couples & Partners October 2009 *Adoption of at least some children by at least some same-sex couples or partners is allowed by specific legislation or a currently binding appellate court ruling in less than ten percent of the 193 sovereign nations belonging to the United Nations. Some Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples & Partners Allowed:* 15 nations Andorra, Belgium, Canada, Denmark,* Finland,* Germany,* Iceland, Israel,* Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay. *Only step-children (children of their registered partners), not other children, may be adopted. Adoptions by Same-Sex Couples & Partners OK in some province:* 3 nations Australia, Brazil, and the United States. Adoption by Same-Sex Couples & Partners Prohibited, Likely Prohibited, or Not Allowed: One-hundred seventy-four (174) nations. Constitutionally Prohibited: 5+ nations Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala NB: Adoptions by single gay or lesbian individuals are legally potentially permitted: 50+ nations (potentially) E.B. v. France (Applica. No /02) __ Eur. Ct. H.R. __ (22 Jan. 2008). Potentially all European nations (signatories of Eu Conv. Hu. Rts) might be obliged to permit adoption by single gay/lesbian if all any single adults to adopt.
May 2012: Of 19 European nations (data avail): 18 OK gay single; 8 OK gay cpls; 13 OK 2dP
The distinction between adoptions by single gay or lesbian adults and by same-sex partners or couples has been approved by the European Court of Human Rights interpreting provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights. In E.B. v. France – Court (Applica. No /02) __ Eur. Ct. H.R. __ (22 Jan. 2009) mentId=827961&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber& table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA (last seen 16 October 2009). mentId=827961&portal=hbkm&source=externalbydocnumber& table=F69A27FD8FB86142BF01C1166DEA “ The present case does not concern adoption by a couple or by the same-sex partner of a biological parent, but solely adoption by a single person.” “ French legislation expressly grants single persons the right to apply for authorisation to adopt and establishes a procedure to that end.”
1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co- operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, ratified by 74 nations (US), in effect in 72 (US). Articles 4, 11, 12, 14, 15 & 17 State or Origin & Receiving State may each veto; full disclosure Article 24 – Ordre Public (Public Policy) Exception to Other Contracting States Having to recognize LGAdoptions Legislative History (Official Report) corroborates HCIA intended to be “neutral” and neither require nor forbid LGAd, but leave it up to each state (Origin and Receiving) to determine and enforce its own policy CONCLUSION: Hague Adoption Convention neither requires nor prohibits inter-national recognition of gay/lesbian adoptions, but leaves that to the policies of the sending and receiving states.
The courts have been influenced by legal literature discussing adoption by gays and lesbians that is profoundly biased and distorted. My 1997 survey of the legal literature published between 1990 and 1996 (six years inclusive) found a total of 90 articles, notes, comments, and essays published on the topic of homosexual parenting, of which forty-five (45) favored or supported same-sex partner or couple adoption, the rest were “neutral,” while none (0) clearly opposed. In 2009 My RAs reviewed 126 Law Review Articles, Comments, Notes and Essays Discussing Same-sex Couple or Partner Adoption (Published January 1, 2008 through August 1, 2009) (Joseph Shapiro & Thomas Alvord, Oct. 2009) 84 support same-sex adoption 2 oppose same-sex adoption 40 are neutral toward same-sex adoption There is much more publishing about gay adoption: 0/year (1970s), to 15/year (1990s) to 80 /year ( ), and most of it supports LG Adopts
Concerns about Lesbian and Gay Adoptions There are serious limitations upon the use of social science to govern policy re: whether couples should be allowed to adopt (and, if so, who, when, under what circumstances, etc.). Such evidence alone is not dispositive for at least four reasons. 1) Non-Conclusive Nature of Social Science: “Given the nuances of scientific methodology and conflicting views, courts-which can only consider the limited evidence on the record before them-are ill equipped to determine which view of science is the right one.” Ramsey & Kelly: “Research does not... provide the answer to a policy question, because a policy choice is a normative decision.” In family policy formulation: “research cannot replace the normative aspects of decision making.” 2)Methodological flaws, especially by courts: Ramsey: Judges lack skills.... Marks recent (June 2012) Social Science Review report on flaws in the studies relied on in APA court brief
Flaws/limitations, cont’d: 3) Too easily manipulated, subjective: Judicial invocation of science is like judicial invocation of legislative history, which Judge Harold Leventhal’s famously described as like “looking over a crowd and picking out your friends.” 4)Normative Judgment Must Be Added Separately: The factual data must be assessed by normative standards, value determinations, that – like all fundamental human rights issues and questions of good and evil. Professors Ramsey & Kelly warn: “[J]udges need to keep in mind that social science cannot provide complete answers to the difficult questions they confront every day. There are basic tensions between social science knowledge and judicial decision-making.” 5)Recent research noting differences in outcome defies the conventional wisdom of “no difference” for children of gay or lesbian parents.
While There Are Studies on Both Sides, There is Abundant Social Science Research to Support Preference in Adoption for Married Mom-Dad Couples 1) Advantages of Married over Unmarried Heterosexual Parenting: The social science research finding substantial disadvantages for children raised by cohabiting parents or a parent and his/her adult partner is simply overwhelming. Princeton Professor Sara McLanahan’s massive, multi-year longitudinal study of “fragile families” Unmarried fathers are twice as likely as married fathers to have problems with drug use, three times as likely to be violent, and nearly seven times as likely to have been incarcerated in the past. Again, although cohabiting fathers look better than noncoresident fathers on some indicators, the major gap is between married and unmarried fathers [D]espite their high hopes for a future together, only a small proportion of unmarried parents (22 percent) ever follow through on their plans, and even fewer (16 percent) are still married by the time of the five-year interview [A]n important feature of fragile families [is] high partnership instability. We estimate that by the time of the child's third birthday, two-thirds of unmarried mothers have experienced at least one partnership change, more than a third have experienced at least two changes, and nearly 20 percent have experienced three or more changes. “The theoretical arguments for the benefits of marriage are supported by a large body of empirical research, including research on parents' economic and social resources as well as research on outcomes for children and young adults.”
Concerns About Same-Sex Partners Adopting: (1)concern for the best interests of children, (1)NOT Let adult political/personal agenda’s determine adoption policy/decisions (2) concern for the institutional integrity of the legal institution of adoption, tarnishing the “gold standard” of adoptive parenting. Adoption not typical adversary proceeding but largely ex parte, easily manipulated (International adoption frauds by friently social workers) (3) concerns about inappropriate judicial policy-making, and (4) concern about the failure to carefully consider alternatives solutions (e.g., adopt as aunt/uncle, not 2d parent)
Most Current Social Science “No Difference” Studies Are Immature, Defective, and Biased 1.Methodologically flawed, biased, unreliable Stacey & Biblarz (strong advocate of same-sex parter parenting) admits Lerner & Nagai (none of 47 studies reliable methodology) Stephen Nock (all flawed, unreliable) Dr. George Rekers (studies lacking, need long-term body of data) (June 2012) Study in Social Science Research by L.S.U. Prof. Loren Mark 2.Even biased studies suggest potential harm (homo-erotic identification, attraction, premature sexualization, promiscuity) (June 2012) Study in Social Science Research by U. Tex Prof. Mark Regnerus 3. Ignore/Defy all theories of child development 4.Fail to ask the hard questions (effect on relationships, sex, etc.) a.Expect lesbigay parents to do many things as well as mom-dad parents such as provide food, clothing, adequate education, etc. So wash-out in adoption, not issue b.Need to learn about effect on sexual behaviors, interests, of children – premature or delayed sexual behavior, risky sexual behaviors, sexual self-identification, fidelity, promiscuity, effect on relationships are different with parents, siblings, grandparents, future spouses, children.
Narratives of the Inner Lives of Children Give Cause for Concern Narratives of children raised in lesbigay homes identify 8 concerns: 1.Stability and changing sexual partners Premature sexualization environment and experience (molesting taboo) 3.Alcohol & drug use 4.Domestic violence 5. Ignoring needs 6.Silence and intimidation 7.Disease, death and separation 8.Impact on sexual behavior and relations
Mark Regnerus, How Different are the Adult Children …,41 Social Sci. Res. 752 (June 2012)
An Emerging Problem – Unintended Consequence – of the Hague Adoption Convention The Hague Convention was intended to facilitate and promote adoptions for parentless children in need of families. However, “in practice, this does not always occur.” (Selman 2012) The facts show that the well-intentioned Hague Adoption Convention actually depresses intercountry adoption. The increased centralized regulation creates costs and delays that have reduced inter-country adoptions. That needs to be fixed immediately.
UNICEF estimates about 100 million street children exist in the world today. About forty million are in Latin America, twenty-five to thirty million in Asia, and ten million in Africa It is said that in Bogota, Colombia, 200,000 abandoned street children roam the streets A 2002 UNICEF, UNAIDS study reported that in 2001 there were 108 million orphans (including 13 million AIDS orphans) living in 88 less- developed nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, and that by 2010 there would be 107 million orphans (including 25 million AIDS orphans), in those nations The United Nations estimates that approximately 50,000 human beings die every day as a result of poor shelter, water, or sanitation, and parentless children are especially vulnerable to these ravages
International adoption is one important component in protecting the welfare of children. While it operates one-child-at-a-time, it makes a huge difference for each of those children, and through those children an even greater impact in the future the 1993 Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co- operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, generally known as “the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption As of March 31, 2012, ninety (90) nations had signed, ratified, or acceded to this Hague Convention, and the HCIA had entered into force in all but three of those nations (in 87 nations)
Dr. Selman’s most recent report finds that “in 1998 there were just under 32,000 [international] adoptions; by 2004 this number had risen to over 45,000; by 2009 the world total had fallen to under 30,000 – less than in 1998 – and the decline continued in ” Clearly the trend was of international adoptions increasing through the 1990s, the decade in which the Hague Adoption Convention was adopted and decreasing after it was adopted.
The United States completed the formal ratification procedures of the Hague Adoption Convention in December, 2007, and the Hague Adoption Convention was put into effect on April 1, 2008, in the United States
Table 1 Intercountry Adoptions in the USA from All Foreign Countries Combined, Year:Number: , , , , , , ,734(-) ,680(-) ,608(-) ,456(-) *FIRST YEAR US FULLY FOLLOWS HAGUE CONVEN ,744(-) ,058(-) ,319 (-) Total 1999 – ,934 About 2/3 = females About 40% under 1 year old, about 35% 1-2 years old, about 25% = 3-17 years old. Source: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Intercountry Adoption, Year 2011 Annual Report, available at (seen 6 April 2012).
Similar trends in reduction of inter-country adoptions have occurred around the world, not just in the United States “The global number of intercountry adoption peaked in 2004 after a steady rise in annual numbers from the early 1990s. Since then, annual numbers have decreased to the point that by 2008 the total was lower than it had been in 2001 (see Figure 1), and by 2009 it was lower than it was in 1998 (see Table 2).” -- “Global numbers [of intercountry adoptions] fell by 35 percent between 2004 and 2009.” – Selman (2012)
Figure: Trends in Intercountry Adoption to 23 Receiving States, Peter Selman, Global Trends in Intercountry Adoption: , National Council for Adoption, Adoption Advocate, No. 44, February (Figure 1 & Tables 2-4 herein)
Table: Intercountry Adoptions to 23 Receiving Countries, 1998 to 2010, by Rank in 2004 PEAK YEARS ARE HIGHLIGHTED IN BOLD
The impact of the Hague Adoption Convention has been to substantially reduce the number of intercountry adoptions in the USA and globally
III.Why and How The Growing Crisis of Disintegrating Families Matters Family non-formation and fragmentation nearly always harm children. Sara McLanahan of Princeton University, a leading authority on fragile families, writes that “[b]oys raised outside of intact marriages are two to three times more likely to commit a crime leading to incarceration by the time they are in their early thirties, even after controlling for race, family background, neighborhood quality, and cognitive ability. Separation and divorce are even “more strongly associated with delinquency than are single-parent households per se...
– Children who grow up in intact, married families are significantly more likely to graduate from high school, finish college, become gainfully employed, and enjoy a stable family life themselves, compared to their peers who grow up in nonintact families. – As Baroness Deech recently declared in a debate in the House of Lords: “It is marriage that makes all the difference.
LONGEVITY PROJECT: “parental divorce during childhood emerged as the single strongest predictor of early death in adulthood. The grown children of divorced parents died almost five years earlier, on average, than children from intact families.” Children of divorce experience higher rates of bad things (higher rates of poverty, juvenile delinquency, incarceration, and child abuse, more physical and mental illness, higher incidence of drug and alcohol use, earlier/more sexualization, cohabitation, nonmarital pregnancy, CBOW, and their own divorce, lower education, etc.
The Public Costs of the Disintegration of Marital Families $112 Billion per years state and federal (very conservative estimate) in US $100 Billion per year for 14 federal programs Social costs of Juvenile crime/ delinquency much higher
Does It Really Matter for a Child to Grow Up Without a Mom & Dad (Dual- Gender Ps)? My father left my family when I was 2 years old, and I knew him mainly from the letters he wrote and the stories my family told. And while I was lucky to have two wonderful grandparents who poured everything they had into helping my mother raise my sister and me. I still felt the weight of his absence throughout my childhood. As an adult, working as a community organizer and later as a legislator, I would often walk through the streets of Chicago’s South Side and see boys marked by that same absence—boys without supervision or direction or anyone to help them as they struggled to grow into men. I identified with their frustration and disengagement—with their sense of having been let down. In many ways, I came to understand the importance of fatherhood through its absence—both in my life and in the lives of others. I came to understand that the hole a man leaves when he abandons his responsibility to his children is one that no government can fill. We can do everything possible to provide good jobs and good schools and safe streets for our kids, but it will never be enough to fully make up the difference. -- Barack Obama -Barack Obama, We Need Fathers to Step Up, Parade Magazine, June 21, 2009, pp.4-5 (emphasis added).
The Impact of Legalizing SSM on Child- Centeredness in Society
The Critical Importance of the Concept of Marriage: Marriage Is the Substructure for Free Societies Both Plato and Aristotle prescribed a set of laws governing the ideal ages, qualities, and duties of husband and wife to each other and to their children “to ensure that marital couples would remain bonded together for the sake of their children.” Aristotle: Marriage is “the foundation of the republic and the prototype of friendship.” Cicero described marriage as creating “the first bond” of society and as “the foundation of civil government, the nursery, as it were, of the state.” “[M]arriage generates ‘social capital’ – interfamily and intergenerational bonds that embed married couples and their children within larger social networks and direct their efforts to the good of all.”
The Founders Saw Connections Between Family, Virtue and Republican Government Howard Chandler Christie, Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States ConnecticutConnecticut Oliver Ellsworth* William Samuel Johnson Roger Sherman Delaware Richard Bassett Gunning Bedford, Jr. Jacob Broom John Dickinson George Read Georgia Abraham Baldwin William Few William Houstoun* William Pierce* Maryland Daniel Carroll Luther Martin* James McHenry John Francis Mercer* Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer Massachusetts Elbridge Gerry* Nathaniel Gorham Rufus King Caleb Strong* New Hampshire Nicholas Gilman John Langdon New Jersey David Brearley Jonathan Dayton William Houston* William Livingston William Paterson New York Alexander Hamilton John Lansing, Jr.* Robert Yates* North Carolina William Blount William Richardson Davie* Alexander Martin* Richard Dobbs Spaight Hugh Williamson Pennsylvania George Clymer Thomas Fitzsimons Benjamin Franklin Jared Ingersoll Thomas Mifflin Gouverneur Morris Robert Morris James Wilson South Carolina Pierce Butler Charles Cotesworth Pinckney Charles Pinckney John Rutledge Virginia John Blair James Madison George Mason* James McClurg* Edmund Randolph* George Washington George Wythe* Rhode Island –NoneOliver EllsworthWilliam Samuel JohnsonRoger ShermanDelawareRichard BassettGunning Bedford, Jr.Jacob BroomJohn DickinsonGeorge ReadGeorgiaAbraham BaldwinWilliam FewWilliam HoustounWilliam PierceMarylandDaniel CarrollLuther MartinJames McHenryJohn Francis MercerDaniel of St. Thomas JeniferMassachusettsElbridge GerryNathaniel GorhamRufus KingCaleb StrongNew HampshireNicholas GilmanJohn LangdonNew JerseyDavid BrearleyJonathan DaytonWilliam HoustonWilliam LivingstonWilliam PatersonNew YorkAlexander HamiltonJohn Lansing, Jr. Robert YatesNorth CarolinaWilliam BlountWilliam Richardson DavieAlexander MartinRichard Dobbs SpaightHugh WilliamsonPennsylvaniaGeorge ClymerThomas FitzsimonsBenjamin FranklinJared IngersollThomas MifflinGouverneur MorrisRobert MorrisJames WilsonSouth CarolinaPierce ButlerCharles Cotesworth PinckneyCharles PinckneyJohn RutledgeVirginiaJohn BlairJames MadisonGeorge MasonJames McClurgEdmund RandolphGeorge WashingtonGeorge WytheRhode Island
Virtue & Our Constitutional Government “The idea of virtue was central to the political thought of the founders of the American republic. Every body of thought they encountered, every intellectual tradition they consulted, every major theory of republican government by which they were influenced emphasized the importance of personal and public virtue. It was understood by the founders to be the precondition for republican government, the base upon which the structure of government would be built.” -Richard Vetterli & Gary Bryner, In Search of the Republic 1 (1996) (emphasis added) And Virtue was expected to be taught, nurtured and fostered in marital families!
Edmund Burke “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportions to their disposition to put moral chains on their own appetites; in proportion as their love of justice is above their rapacity; in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption; in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the councils of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon the will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.” --Edmund Burke, A Letter to a Member of the National Assembly (1791) in The Works of Edmund Burke, vol. 4, pp (1866).
Benjamin Franklin In the constitutional convention of 1787, he voiced his concern that although the new government would likely ‘be well administered for a course of years’, it would ‘end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall have become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.’ On another occasion Franklin declared that: “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”
George Washington Washington declared, “Free suffrage of the people can be assured only ‘so long as there shall remain any virtue in the body of the people.’” -The Papers of George Washington, Letter of Feb. 7, “[T]he foundations of our National policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality” -Inaugural Address of 1789 “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports... Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principles.” -Farewell Address (Sept. 17, 1796)
James Madison Madison told the Virginia ratifying convention : “To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea.” -The Writings of James Madison 223 (Gaillard Hunt ed., 1904)
Samuel Adams Samuel Adams wrote to Richard Henry Lee that whether or not American was to be able to enjoy its hard worn “independence and freedom... depends on her virtue.” -Vetterli & Bryner, supra Adams further admonished in a letter to James Warren (Nov. 4, 1775): “He who is void of virtuous attachments in private life is, or very soon will be, void of all regard for his country. There is seldom an instance of a man guilty of betraying his country, who had not before lost the feeling of moral obligations in his private connections....” -Vetterli & Bryner, supra
John Adams “Statesmen by dear Sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles upon which Freedom can securely stand... The only foundation of a free Constitution, is pure Virtue, and if this cannot be inspired into our People, in a great Measure, than they have it now, They may change their Rulers, and the forms of Government, but they will obtain a lasting Liberty.” -Letter to Zabdiel Adams, June 21, 1776 “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -Letter from John Adams to the Officers of the First Brigade of the Third Division of the Militia of Massachusetts (1798) in 9 Life and Works of John Adams 229 (1954) (emphasis added) John Adams: “The foundation of national morality must be laid in private families.... How is it possible that Children can have any just Sense of the sacred Obligations of Morality or Religion if, from their earliest Infancey, they learn their Mothers live in Habitual Infidelity to their fathers, and their fathers in as constant Infidelity to their Mothers?”
Patrick Henry “Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.” Source:
George Mason “George Mason argued that republican government was based on an affection ‘for altars and firesides.’ Only good men could be free; men learned how to be good in a variety of local institutions—by the firesides as well as at the altar.... Individuals learned virtue in their families, churches, and schools.”
Thomas Jefferson “It is in the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigour... degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats into the heart of its laws and constitution.” -Notes on the State of Virginia, Query XIX (1787)
Benjamin Rush “Without virtue there can be no liberty.” “No free government can stand without virtue in the people, and a lofty spirit of patriotism.” Source:
Francis Grund An Austrian social commentator and contemporary of Alexis de Tocqueville wrote: “The American Constitution is remarkable for its simplicity; but can only suffice a people habitually correct in their actions, and would be utterly inadequate to the wants of a different nation. Change the domestic habits of the Americans, their religious devotion, and their high respect for morality, and it will not be necessary to change a single letter in the Constitution in order to vary the whole form of their government.” -Francis J. Grund, The Americans, in the Moral, Social, and Political Relations 171 (1837)
“Republican Marriage” Was the Main Source of Virtue In the prevailing political theory of the founding era, the family was considered one of the essential pillars of republican virtue, and it not only needed to be nurtured, but also protected from the tyranny of the government. For instance, Montesquieu suggested “that marriage and the form of government were mirrors of each other. Accepting Montesquieu’s perspective, American revolutionaries and their descendants understood marriage and the family to be schools of republican virtue.” Mary Lyndon Shanley, Review Essay, 27 Law & Soc. Inq. 923, 926 (2002) The American Founders saw “marriage as a training ground of citizenly virtue.” Likewise, “it served as a ‘school of affection’ where citizens would learn to care about others.” One founding era writer noted that “by marriage ‘man feels a growing attachment to human nature, and love of his country.’” -Nancy F. Cott, Public Vows, A History of Marriage and the Nation (2000)
Republican Mothers The Republican Mother’s life was dedicated to the service of civic virtue: she educated her sons for it, she condemned and corrected her husband’s lapses from it. If... the stability of the nation rested on the persistence of virtue among its citizens, then the creation of virtuous citizens was dependent on the presence of wives and mothers who were well informed, “properly methodical,” and free of “invidious and rancorous passions.”... To that end the theorists created a mother who had a political purpose and argued that her domestic behavior had a direct political function in the Republic.” (L INDA K. K ERBER, W OMEN OF THE R EPUBLIC (1980). These common ideas about family “had a dramatic ‘republicanizing’ effect” in society in the Founding era. One consequence was unprecedented equality and respect for the roles of women in American society. Historian Jan Lewis reports that “Revolutionary-era writers held up the loving partnership of man and wife in opposition to patriarchal dominion as the republican model for social and political relationships.” (Jan Lewis, The Republican Wife Wm & Mary Q. 689 (1987)) Michael Grossberg agrees: By charging homes with the vital responsibility of molding the private virtue necessary for republicanism to flourish, the new nation greatly enhanced the importance of women’s family duties.... At times, according to historian Mary Beth Norton, “it even seemed as though republican theorists believed that the fate of the republic rested squarely, perhaps solely, on the shoulders of its womenfolk.” (M ICHAEL G ROSSBERG, G OVERNING THE H EARTH : L AW & THE F AMILY IN N INETEENTH C ENTURY A MERICA 7-8 (1985).
Foundations and Infrastructure Matter: When Marriage and Marital Families Disintegrate, Society and Individuals (Especially Children) Suffer. -Marriage is the foundation and the substructure of society. -Family is the core infrastructure of society. -Marital families create crucial social capital. -We derive our “root paradigms” from our families. Marriage undergirds strong families which are the first school rooms of democracy (or of anarchy, hierarchy, brutality, or greed)
Redefining Marriage Transforms the Meaning and Moral Expectations of Marriage. The “transformative power of inclusion” is enormous Including same-sex couples as “married” will transform the meaning and morality of marriage. NYTimes Report of the “Big Secret” in California SSMs (half had agreements to allow extra- marital sexual relations) For example, a study by Dutch AIDs researchers, published in 2003 in the journal AIDS, reported on the number of partners among Amsterdam’s homosexual population. They found: - Gay men with steady partners had 8 other sex partners (“casual partners”) per year, on average. - The average duration of committed relationships among gay steady partners was 1.5 years. Kirk and Madsen reported in their that “the cheating ratio of ‘married’ gay males, given enough time, approaches 100%.... American researchers Bell and Weinberg reported that 43 percent of white male homosexuals had sex with 500 or more partners, with 28 percent having one thousand or more sex partners. A recent study of 2,583 older sexually active gay men “modal range for number of sexual partners ever... was ”
“As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the world in which we live.” -- Pope John Paul II “[M]arriage and the family are rooted in the most intimate core of truth about man and his destiny.” Pope Benedict XVI (CAN, May 11, 2006) “When the home is destroyed, the nation goes to pieces.” – President Spencer W. Kimball. “A nation will rise no higher than the strength of its homes. If you want to reform a nation, you begin with families....” President Gordon B. Hinckley. “ ‘I believe in the home as the foundation of society, as the cornerstone of the nation…. I cannot conceive of a great people without great, good homes.... ’” President (Elder)Thomas S. Monson, Ensign 1997 November (quoting Stephen L. Richards).
The late LDS Apostle Elder Neal A. Maxwell warned: “As parenting declines, the need for policing increases. There will always be a shortage of police if there is a shortage of effective parents! Likewise, there will not be enough prisons if there are not enough good homes.... “... How can we value the family without valuing parenting? And how can we value parenting if we do not value marriage?....” (Neal A. Maxwell, Ensign, May 1994, at 89-90).
Speak Up and Speak Out: Source: Alan Guttmacher Institute, “Facts on Induced Abortion in the United States” August 2011 at Abortion Rate
Conclusion: Stand Up and Speak Up for What is Right Abortion is still a policy issue because pro-life voices have not been silent. Elie Wiezel: “I swore never to be silent.... We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor.” Pres. Hinckley told the students at BYU in 1996: “You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others. … “In this world so filled with problems, so constantly threatened by dark and evil challenges, you can and must rise above mediocrity, above indifference. You can become involved and speak with a strong voice for that which is right” -Gordon B. Hinckley, Brigham Young University Devotional, Marriott Center, 17 Sept In his book Standing for Something, he wrote: What we desperately need today on all fronts... are leaders, men and women who are willing to stand for something. We need people... who are willing to stand up for decency, truth, integrity, morality, and law and order... even when it is unpopular to do so – perhaps especially when it is unpopular to do so. (Hinckley, Standing at 167).
The “Power of One” Speaking Up Pope Benedict XVI: “[Y]our concrete testimony - is very important, especially when you affirm the inviolability of human life from conception until natural death, the singular and irreplaceable value of the family founded upon matrimony and the need for legislation which supports families in the task of giving birth to children and educating them. Dear families, be courageous!” 7 June 2011, Catholic Online. Archbishop Timothy Dolan says the most effective thing that young Catholics can now do to defend marriage is “to model happy, faithful, life- giving marriage. That’s the best thing we can do.” [H]e also stressed that young Catholics will have to be prepared to “never to shy away from the prophetic part of speaking the truth” in “letting people know that the defense of traditional marriage is not just some weird, superstitious, medieval Catholic cause.” Instead, it “is at the heart of what makes it for the common good - namely providing the healthiest, most wholesome environment for children.” -NOM, August 2011
“The power of one” also includes the power of being one with others, of being united with other persons who share your values, your principles Cardinal George at BYU in February 2010 Forum talk commended Catholic-Mormon solidarity in defense of marriage Prof. FitzGibbon: “Shoulder to shoulder, that's where we ought to be.” “We cannot effect a turnaround in a day or a month or a year. But with enough effort, we can begin a turnaround within a generation, and accomplish wonders within two generations – a period of time that is not very long in the history of humanity.” (Hinckley, Standing at 145, 167)
Table 1. Unmarried Cohabitants in USA, Year Unm’d P Hhlds % Hhlds ,0000.8% 19801,589,0002.0% 19903,668,0003.1% 20005,500,0004.3% 20066,017,4625.4% 20107,500, % Source: Statistical Abstract of the United States 1994 at 56 & 58; id at Table 61 & 62; id at tables 57 & 60; id., 2009, Table 62; Rose M. Kreider, Increase in Oppositive-sex Cohabiting Couples from 2009 to 2010 in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) (Sept. 15, 2010), available at (last visited Apr. 30, 2011).
In 2010, Professor Bradford Wilcox and Elizabeth Marquardat showed that over half (53%) of poorly- educated persons agreed that “marriage has not worked out well for most people they know,” and nearly half (43%) of moderately educated also agreed. They also found that marital satisfaction generally has fallen. Between 1970 and 2000, the percentage of least- educated married Americans who reported that they were “very happy” in marriage fell from 59% to 52%, and among the moderately-educated it fell from 68% to 57%.