Excuse me while I just adjust this multi-person gallows

A husband and wife have been prevented from trying to adopt their two young foster children after the couple said a child needed a “mummy and daddy” rather than gay parents.

Social services said it would not consider the couple’s request to adopt the children because they had aired “concerning” opinions about the possibility of a same-sex couple being chosen as the adoptive parents instead.

They’ve been fostering the kids for nearly a year, have glowing reports, but heteronormativity means that they’re turned down for adoption.

So social services if you’d just like to come up these steps? No, no bag over the head we want you to see what happens to your confreres and they to see you. Yes, that’s lovely, just move the neck a little to get that knot right.

Yes, that’s it. Byee!

71 thoughts on “Excuse me while I just adjust this multi-person gallows”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    So heterosexuality is a pathology is it now?

    Either they end up at the end of a rope or we will. Well, some of us will. Some of us will be only too happy to live in shame and fear indefinitely.

  2. Until citizens start defending each other by ‘correcting’ the attitudes of such filth, they will never stop. Three stout men should bump into this individual one night and make it quite clear that such decisions can be bad for ones health.

  3. Maybe they have to make it difficult to adopt so that they can then point to all the unadopted kids and say they have to relax whatever rule or condition is stopping some minority group adopting
    Useles tossers the lot of them

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    BniC – “Maybe they have to make it difficult to adopt so that they can then point to all the unadopted kids and say they have to relax whatever rule or condition is stopping some minority group adopting”

    The Social Services have long since insisted that Black children can only be adopted by Black parents. Given that children in need are disproportionately Black and willing foster parents just as disproportionately aren’t, it means that there has been a surplus of abandoned children for two generations or so.

    The Conservatives have said they would change that. But they can’t get the Social Services to co-operate so the situation remains.

    The truth is that ideologues do not give a flying fornication about the children. It is just hatred of Whites all the way down.

  5. I suspect their motives are both more mundane and less principled than is suggested above.
    The fewer children getting adopted the more clients for social workers. The very last thing a social worker worker wants is to have problems solved!

  6. The part I can’t believe is that they think that one biologically-impossible relationship – white parents adopting minority children – is unacceptable.

    Whereas another biologically-impossible relationship – homosexual parents adopting children – is not only acceptable, but unacceptable to oppose.

    Personally I am fine with either as long as the child is looked after well.

  7. Suppose some child is assigned to dreadful adoptive (or foster) parents when it could have been assigned good ones. When said child reaches 18, can he sue the social workers who made the decision?

  8. Not a lot of people adopt kids, usually its babies. I was incredibly lucky to be adopted aged 6 and that was over 40yrs ago. social services should be thankful not obstructive

  9. In the 90s, working as a management consultant for one of the big six, I was involved in reviews of social services departments and privately I concluded that most of what they did was worthless and could be axed (eg child protection) or passed to charities (eg adoption). Almost the only area where social workers did anything useful was with the elderly, but even that was done very inefficiently. Though they are always seeking “more resources”, their budgets could be cut by 75% and few would notice.

  10. As long as there are sociology departments indoctrinating students in theory alien to both common sense and compassion, the profession (despite the odd good ‘un) will operate as an initiated order, despising the unitiated.

  11. Several times over the years have had people doing social work degrees on placement in a charity I worked for. Some were great and some were not so great,
    One of the best had compassion but did not let it overrule her ability to do what she was told. Kept in touch with her for a few years and she was absolutely brilliant when they let her do her job.
    She left social services in disgust after a time as her bosses kept ‘losing’ paperwork, reassigning her clients and trying to prevent her solving problems.

  12. So Much For Subtlety

    Oblong – “Personally I am fine with either as long as the child is looked after well.”

    Yes. Well. That is the problem isn’t it? We know that on average children looked after by Gay couples are not looked after as well by heterosexual parents. Nor are adoptive parents as good as the married, biological parents. On average anyway.

    Added to which Gay couple seem rather prone to sexually abuse their charges. Especially in Australia for some reason.

    Children need both biological parents to get and stay married. Anything less verges on child abuse.

  13. Theophrastus- what was so useless about child protection activities?

    Where do I start? Briefly, for various reasons (eg bureaucratic incompetence, inefficient multi-agency working, PC), child protection social workers either do too much or they do too little, and as a result the outcomes for the children are sub-optimal or worse than the original risk identified.

  14. Children need both biological parents to get and stay married. Anything less verges on child abuse.

    Well since nearly 50% of marriages end in divorce and of those divorces 70% are initiated by women then we know where we need to focus our attention.

    Divorce should be harder to obtain, no fault divorce banned entirely.

    If there is to be a divorce child support arrangements should be based around 50/50 co-parenting (as in Nordic countries) to prevent parental alienation (for which women are almost exclusively to blame)

    Alimony should be removed entirely and any divorce settlement should reflect what each party brought into the marriage in the first place.

    Once you remove incentive for child-snatching / cash-and-prizes divorce settlements then marriage will seem a lot more reasonable to men (who are getting more and more commitment-phobic about marriage) and less of a potential lottery win for women.

  15. Once more the word “concerning” is a giveaway.
    In correct English, it ‘s a more formal version of “about” e.g. “I refer to my earlier memo concerning the cost estimates for the new bypass”.
    However, it’s now used as a synonym for “worrying” or “alarming”, the subtext being that if the writer said he was “concerned” or “alarmed” it would suggest and irrational element to his worries, whereas being “concerned” signals expert detachment and the faux-objective viewpoint much beloved of the left.

  16. The Purge applies.

    There must be a few decent social workers. But any with the slightest leftist affiliation are history. Gone sans compo and pension + blackballed from ever being social workers again.

    John Galt is also right. If you marry and can’t get on don’t have kids. If you do you are together until they are 16 and any escape attempts will see either parent or both as the case may be, beaten until they beg and then beaten some more FOR begging. Then back to the marital home–monitored if they have proven false. They brought the kid into the world and they do their duty up till 16 say and after that they can do what the Hell they like. But the parents need to be made to live up to the responsibilities they have brought on.

  17. Pingback: Hemp Shares to go up? – Longrider

  18. Divorce should be harder to obtain, no fault divorce banned entirely.

    What? I mean, seriously, what? Marriage should be no business of the state in the first place, let alone the state deciding that people cannot decide for themselves that a marriage has irretrievably broken down.

    Get the state and all its grubby organs out of marriage as a starting point. Then hang them all.

  19. “Divorce should be harder to obtain, no fault divorce banned entirely.”

    Freedom, eh?

    Sounds like a totes good idea. Tied for life to a screaming harpy who hates you… Fun! If the only way out of ” ‘Til death do you part” is death, the consequences are predictable.

    The problem is that people get married who subsequently find they don’t get along. Not allowing them to separate doesn’t fix that. I suppose you could argue that people should have to cohabit for a while before marrying and having kids, but human nature being what it is, that’s not going to happen. And it would have to be a pretty totalitarian world to even attempt to legislate this stuff. Islamic societies try (with honour killings and so on for anyone who breaks the rules), and the consequences are not good. Not even the threat of a horrible death stops people being people.

    Anyone who counts as a responsible adult for other legal purposes should be allowed to have kids. They’re allowed to have any opinion that’s legal for adults to have, and to teach it to their kids. Anyone who rejects the right of people to be parents because they are gay is the same as anyone who rejects the right of people to be parents because they are homophobic. (Same for left-wing, right-wing, religious, atheist, believers in homeopathy and UFOs.,…) Supporting gay parentage is legal. Opposing gay parentage is legal. Being gay is legal. None of these should be any impediment to having kids. Only hurting kids should be (like when they reject their parents’ stupid views) – and that applies to all sides.

    Social workers should have the right to hold the opinion that those sick deviant homophobes should not be allowed to raise kids, like some of you are allowed to hold the opinion that gays shouldn’t raise kids. But they shouldn’t have the power to enforce it.

    Authoritarians all agree people should have free speech and freedom of belief – but only so long as they hold the right opinions.

  20. As an adoptive parent I call bullshit on this one.

    I’m not about to pay to get through the pay wall but why are the foster parents described as husband and wife not husband and husband or wife and wife if they are gay?

    I know several gay couples who have adopted and that’s via my Home Counties Tory controlled county adoption agency.

    There most definitely is an incentive to get kids through the system and into families and social workers in my experience are ruthlessly efficient about it when they want to be.

  21. NiV–Back to the Bollocks.

    No one was denying kids to gays. What they were doing was denying them to people who don’t share the CM bollocks approved by the scum of social services about whether being gay is OK.

    Well lots of people don’t agree that it is OK.

    So long as non-aggression is in force that is no problem.

    “Sounds like a totes good idea.”

    Tote?–horse racing?

    ” Tied for life to a screaming harpy who hates you… Fun! If the only way out of ” ‘Til death do you part” is death, the consequences are predictable.”

    If there are no kids they can do what they like. But if they drop a litter then By Fuck they should be made to do their duty. Not fuck and then fuck off and leave everybody else–mainly the taxpayer–to pick up the pieces.

    “The problem is that people get married who subsequently find they don’t get along.”

    That’s because there are a lot of dozy cunts who share your “Feels is all that matters” horseshit. “Oh I’m so much in luurrve”. Fine–but understand before you start–drop a litter and you will do the right thing whether you want to or not.

    “Not allowing them to separate doesn’t fix that”
    Nothing fixes it–but they will swallow their shit and serve as parents until the child is 16. Cos that’s what a decent person would do–and if they are not decent then they need to be MADE to behave in a decent manner.

    ” I suppose you could argue that people should have to cohabit for a while before marrying and having kids, but human nature being what it is, that’s not going to happen.”

    Yes feckless scum will always be feckless, create a pile of shite and then try to piss off so others–with a conscience –have to clean it all up and meet the bills. Fuck those scum.

    ” And it would have to be a pretty totalitarian world to even attempt to legislate this stuff. Islamic societies try (with honour killings and so on for anyone who breaks the rules), and the consequences are not good.”

    Honour killing is fuckall to do with looking after your kids until age 16.

    ” Not even the threat of a horrible death stops people being people.”

    Because the runaway, “clean-up-my-mess-you-mugs” fuckers are rarely faced with horrible death. A fist powered precursor of it would encourage the vast majority into accepting their responsibilities and encourage the future feckless to re-consider their future in their chosen line of reproductive strategy.

  22. Street Sparrow

    The foster parents are husband and wife and both on Team Hetero. The proposed adoptive parents are gay, as it says later in the article (behind the pay wall):

    in mid-October a social worker told them that a gay couple were being put forward to adopt the children. This would involve the two men visiting the family home to prepare the children for their new life.

    According to the social worker’s case notes, “this suggestion is very challenging for [the husband and wife]”.

  23. But if they drop a litter then By Fuck they should be made to do their duty.

    No. they have no duty to the state. No one does. All that needs to happen is to remove the perverse incentives and let nature take its course. It is perfectly possible to raise children outside of marriage and do it well. It’s a personal matter and no one else’s business.

    It is not the business of the state to force people to stay together when it is no longer viable and such an environment is bad for children.

    Cos that’s what a decent person would do–and if they are not decent then they need to be MADE to behave in a decent manner.

    Decent people do what is best for all parties – that may be staying together, it may be separating. It is for them to decide and not for anyone – least of all you – to make them do anything.

  24. “Honour killing is fuckall to do with […] A fist powered precursor of it would encourage the vast majority into accepting their responsibilities and encourage the future feckless to re-consider their future in their chosen line of reproductive strategy.”

    Heh!

    “horse racing?”

    Totes

  25. “This word is most commonly used by teenage girls.”

    It figures.

    “All that needs to happen is to remove the perverse incentives and let nature take its course.”

    Some people will Longrider. But unless you are terminally naïve you know there are no small number of cunts for whom having you clean up their mess is absolutely A-OK.

    “Decent people do what is best for all parties – that may be staying together, it may be separating. It is for them to decide and not for anyone – least of all you – to make them do anything.”

    We are speaking however of indecent people–of which there are no small supply.

    Your “it’ll all work out somehow and without the state” doesn’t cut it.

    I have no objection to the state being butted out. But someone somewhere needs to put a heavy hand on the “don’t give a shit” crowd. Or they will go on not giving a shit worlds without end.

  26. “But someone somewhere needs to put a heavy hand on the “don’t give a shit” crowd. Or they will go on not giving a shit worlds without end.”

    Perhaps someone ought to set up some sort of Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice to apply that heavy hand? You’d volunteer your services, right?

  27. Unless they are breaking the law it is no one else’s business. As I said, stop funding them and leave them to it. And, no, don’t clean up after them. Some will continue nonetheless. It has always been so and always will be so. That is not justification for draconian measures by the state interfering in what should be nothing more than a civil contract between two consenting adults.

  28. We all have a problem with child abuse, right?

    So maybe set a reasonable minimum standard (keeping them fed and housed, sending the poor buggers off to school [although I hated school], etc) below which it is considered abuse.

    Keep the State’s nose out, like we should for all matters, unless the situation drops below that standard.

    A problem with this is deciding on that minimum standard. And deciding which parent failed to meet it.

  29. Longrider

    “No. they have no duty to the state.”

    I am not supporting Ecksy in all he says above, but you are confusing state and society there. What Ecksy suggests could be enforced by public opinion – and withdrawal of the perverse subsidies you refer to.

  30. Longrider–so if they both fuck off and leave the kid to fend or die –that is ok with you?

    NiV–“Perhaps someone ought to set up some sort of Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice to apply that heavy hand? You’d volunteer your services, right?”

    Fuck committees — that sounds like one of your girlie pastimes. You’d volunteer to take the minutes.

    I want to see wicked people sorry for their evil not laughing all over their faces about all the mug do-gooders.

    Since your plan is do-fuck-all are you gonna donate some time to digging graves for all the kids that don’t make it ?

  31. Cynic

    But who is going to monitor and enforce your minimum standards? ‘Child protection’ already involves too much intrusive meddling and authoritarian control – with innocent families being torn apart, and major abuse (eg Rotherham) being ignored.

    I know an eccentric evangelical Christian couple (both lib dump activists, so definitely odd) who have had their children removed and adopted because one told a teacher that daddy soaped his bottom and the social workers decided that the lack of carpets in the family home was evidence of neglect.

    The child protection ‘solution’ is overall worse than the problem.

  32. “What Ecksy suggests could be enforced by public opinion”

    Like SJW opinion is?

    Like other tyrannies, the tyranny of the majority was at first, and is still vulgarly, held in dread, chiefly as operating through the acts of the public authorities. But reflecting persons perceived that when society is itself the tyrant—society collectively, over the separate individuals who compose it—its means of tyrannizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandates: and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practises a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though not usually upheld by such extreme penalties, it leaves fewer means of escape, penetrating much more deeply into the details of life, and enslaving the soul itself.

    Protection, therefore, against the tyranny of the magistrate is not enough: there needs protection also against the tyranny of the prevailing opinion and feeling; against the tendency of society to impose, by other means than civil penalties, its own ideas and practices as rules of conduct on those who dissent from them; to fetter the development, and, if possible, prevent the formation, of any individuality not in harmony with its ways, and compel all characters to fashion themselves upon the model of its own.

    There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence: and to find that limit, and maintain it against encroachment, is as indispensable to a good condition of human affairs, as protection against political despotism.

    J S Mill, On Liberty, 1869.

  33. Longrider–so if they both fuck off and leave the kid to fend or die –that is ok with you?

    That’s a strawman argument. The likelihood of this is minute. It is not up to the state or society to micromanage everyone’s lives because a small amount of people might go to extremes. Unless you are going to use the “if it only saves one life” argument so beloved of the authoritarian left.

    I am not supporting Ecksy in all he says above, but you are confusing state and society there. What Ecksy suggests could be enforced by public opinion – and withdrawal of the perverse subsidies you refer to.

    Nah, I’m not confused. The state makes laws, so the state is the one that would do the banning/enforcement. Society might apply pressure, but that is all. It is the state that would bow to society’s pressure and enact relevant legislation or change any taxation and benefits arrangements We, as individuals, have no duty to either.

  34. It is perfectly possible to successfully raise children outside of marriage. What counts is the long term relationship of a man and a woman devoted to their children.

    However, the decline of marriage has allowed selfish people to ditch their responsibilities to their children and led to a huge rise in single parent families, which every study agrees are detrimental to the child’s wellbeing. Of course, there are also many people who have children outside of a stable relationship which is even worse, as the children start without two parents.

    In the past, the state and society’s enforcement of marriage led to better outcomes for children. Now we have better outcomes for men who can’t be arsed to hang around to see their kids walk and women who take the opportunity to cash out when they get a bit bored with hubby.

  35. I know an eccentric evangelical Christian couple (both lib dump activists, so definitely odd) who have had their children removed and adopted because one told a teacher that daddy soaped his bottom and the social workers decided that the lack of carpets in the family home was evidence of neglect.

    I can’t see how this multi-person gallows is ever going to be big enough.

  36. That’s a strawman argument. The likelihood of this is minute. It is not up to the state or society to micromanage everyone’s lives because a small amount of people might go to extremes. Unless you are going to use the “if it only saves one life” argument so beloved of the authoritarian left.

    No Longrider, it isn’t a strawman argument. As with various parent/child attrocities over the years has shown us, from Baby Peter Connelly to Victoria Climbié there are plenty of parents (admittedly a minority), who see their children as little more than human punchbags or counterweights in child support cases.

    They don’t give a flying fuck about the children themselves. I know, because I was one.

    Once their offspring are no longer useful to them, or alternately no more amusement to them then they are quite willing and capable of abusing them, dumping them, torturing them or just plain killing them for amusement or just to get rid of an annoying burden that stops them from enjoying a life time of partying.

    There has to be some line drawn in the sand to prevent those that are quite categorically BAD PARENTS from simply committing endless rounds of abuse on their children.

    I am not saying that this justifies the lefty attitudes of Child Services (or whatever name applies to these bastards nowadays), but there must be some mechanism, through state or society, which prevents a parent commit wilful abuse against their own children.

  37. Yes it is a strawman argument because I didn’t say what Mr Ecks suggested that I did (I never said it was ok) – hence the logical fallacy.

    There will always be bad parents. There will always be murder and violence against others. The idea that the law should penalise the many because of the few is disproportionate.

    I am not saying that this justifies the lefty attitudes of Child Services (or whatever name applies to these bastards nowadays), but there must be some mechanism, through state or society, which prevents a parent commit wilful abuse against their own children.

    Yup. We have this – the laws against murder and violence. The idea that the state should ban divorces is authoritarian and wholly wrong.

    There has to be some line drawn in the sand to prevent those that are quite categorically BAD PARENTS from simply committing endless rounds of abuse on their children.

    Again, we have this. Abuse is illegal. Thorough investigation and prosecution in the event is appropriate. We cannot, however, have draconian measures that penalise the law-abiding just in case. Again, that is disproportionate. The cases you cite are an example of the failure of those mechanisms that are supposed to prevent. No system will ever manage to prevent all determined abusers. The law as in all cases of violence has to be balanced and what people are suggesting here – extreme authoritarian measures is far from balanced.

    Marriage and divorce is a matter for those involved. The state needs to butt out completely. The majority of parents who separate manage to do so without abusing their children. The very notion of banning divorce is a dreadful one. A terrible, terrible idea and has no place in any civilised society. It simply is not the place of the state to instigate such a thing. Ever.

  38. John Galt

    “there must be some mechanism, through state or society, which prevents a parent commit wilful abuse against their own children.”

    But since that abuse takes place in private, how is this to be achieved? Reluctantly, I’ve come to the conclusion that a few child murders and sodomies are the price for protecting the family from leftist intrusion and regulation.

  39. “No Longrider, it isn’t a strawman argument. As with various parent/child attrocities over the years has shown us…”

    Ummm. You’re saying that parents in broken relationships should not be allowed to divorce until the kids are 16, because some such parents commit atrocities against the kids? Because that’s what you seem to be implying.

    I don’t understand your logic – can you explain it a bit more?

  40. PF

    “I can’t see how this multi-person gallows is ever going to be big enough.”

    What I find particularly horrifying about this case is that the police found no evidence of abuse or neglect, and yet social workers have persuaded a court that the children should be adopted.

  41. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Marriage and divorce is a matter for those involved. The state needs to butt out completely. The majority of parents who separate manage to do so without abusing their children. The very notion of banning divorce is a dreadful one. A terrible, terrible idea and has no place in any civilised society. It simply is not the place of the state to instigate such a thing. ”

    Whilst I agree that divorce should not be banned it is one of those few cases where it does have a role in protecting the rest of us and any children involved from the fall out.

  42. Whilst I agree that divorce should not be banned it is one of those few cases where it does have a role in protecting the rest of us and any children involved from the fall out.

    Indeed. Civil law is an appropriate mechanism for settling the fallout. Statute law need only to apply where there has been evidence of law breaking. If there hasn’t, then nothing to do with the state. If there has, then we have law already that suffices.

  43. “Mill is not saying there should be no social pressure – only that it should be limited.”

    Yes. He’s saying it should be limited to society’s self-protection, to prevent significant harm being done to others without their informed consent. And freedom of speech and opinion do not infringe on that, except in cases like fraud or incitement to violence (i.e. giving the orders).

    The object of this Essay is to assert one very simple principle, as entitled to govern absolutely the dealings of society with the individual in the way of compulsion and control, whether the means used be physical force in the form of legal penalties, or the moral coercion of public opinion. That principle is, that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self-protection. That the only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.

    In particular, it doesn’t allow society to classify simply raising your children to hold opinions society doesn’t like in the same category of abuse as Galt’s reported atrocities.

    Society is allowed to disagree with their behaviour and say so, but its sanctions are limited to that.

    These are good reasons for remonstrating with him, or reasoning with him, or persuading him, or entreating him, but not for compelling him, or visiting him with any evil in case he do otherwise.

    “A fist powered precursor” or “heavy hand” for people who try to get divorced before the kids are grown up count as evil visiting, I’d say.

  44. Reluctantly, I’ve come to the conclusion that a few child murders and sodomies are the price for protecting the family from leftist intrusion and regulation.

    And this is the balance we eventually have to make. There will always be victims of crime. Unless you bring about extremely draconian measures that penalise the innocent, you cannot completely eradicate criminal activity. And even then, I suspect not.

    At which point do we decide that the risk to some is necessary in order to preserve liberty for the many? Clearly I am out of step with several here and I would not wish to live in the society they espouse.

  45. well in Every divorce I have watched the couple are both fighting to have more time with their children, not to abandon their responsibilities. I can only imagine that ecksy either keeps poor company or indulges in dark fantasies. Or both

  46. Theo

    A red mist descends whenever I read one of Booker’s articles. But one never knows if and to what extent he may be guilty of some level of embellishment. Increasingly, the anecdotal evidence would suggest not.

  47. So Much For Subtlety

    Longrider – “Marriage should be no business of the state in the first place, let alone the state deciding that people cannot decide for themselves that a marriage has irretrievably broken down.”

    There is a social cost to divorce. We all pay for it. Why shouldn’t we have a say in the process? We do about dumping other forms of toxic sludge on the rest of us to clean up. What is more divorce involves substantial costs to the community in terms of enforcement. If a couple decide to live apart, I don’t see that is any of our business but if we are going to jail men, seize their businesses, stop them travelling overseas, potentially kill them, then we very clearly should have a say in where and when this is warranted.

    NiV – “Tied for life to a screaming harpy who hates you… Fun! If the only way out of ” ‘Til death do you part” is death, the consequences are predictable.”

    No one looks for a harpy and then marries her. Well not many people. Someone makes her a harpy. Having totally failed at one marriage, both partners are more likely to go on to fail at another. Which suggests the problem is not in their stars. What social benefit is there to allowing someone to brutalise a series of spouses rather than working to fix their original problems?

    “The problem is that people get married who subsequently find they don’t get along. Not allowing them to separate doesn’t fix that.”

    Sure but treating marriage as a joke doesn’t deter people who shouldn’t from getting married in the first place. If they knew it was for life, they would have more incentive to choose wisely and to work on their problems rather than running.

    “Not even the threat of a horrible death stops people being people.”

    And yet three generations ago Britain had virtually no divorce, and co-incidentally virtually no abortion, virtually no murder, indeed virtually no crime of any sort at all. Now it is over run with the feral products of divorce and is more dangerous than New York for most forms of crime.

    “Anyone who rejects the right of people to be parents because they are gay is the same as anyone who rejects the right of people to be parents because they are homophobic.”

    Nonsense. Homosexual parents are demonstrably worse for the child. There is no equivalence here. Any belief in the well being of the child requires a preference, at the very least, to married, biological heterosexual parents.

  48. So Much For Subtlety

    Longrider – “Unless they are breaking the law it is no one else’s business.”

    And yet the prisons are full of people from broken homes.
    We pay an enormous cost for that. America an even greater cost. What is wrong with trying to head that cost off and deterring the products of such marriages before they are born? Even the Soviet Union found it had to reverse its social experiments with group marriage. The costs are too high.

    “That is not justification for draconian measures by the state interfering in what should be nothing more than a civil contract between two consenting adults.”

    What draconian measures? I notice that the system you are defending is vastly more draconian. When we took marriage more seriously it cost nothing to implement. Now the police have to go out and arrest thousands of men for falling behind in their child support payments. The American government has to set up a huge bureaucracy to strip men of their driving licences and passports. How draconian is that?

    Longrider – “The likelihood of this is minute. It is not up to the state or society to micromanage everyone’s lives because a small amount of people might go to extremes.”

    The state of Black America proves the chances of this is not minute. It is quite high actually. The alternative to marriage is child abuse on a massive scale.

    MC – “It is perfectly possible to successfully raise children outside of marriage. What counts is the long term relationship of a man and a woman devoted to their children.”

    Just very unlikely. The evidence does not suggest that being unmarried is anywhere close to being as good as being married.

    Longrider – “There will always be bad parents. There will always be murder and violence against others. The idea that the law should penalise the many because of the few is disproportionate.”

    Is it? Most cigarettes don’t kill you. In fact half of all smokers do not die of a tobacco related problem. Those that do smoke thousands of cigarettes with only a tiny minority doing them harm. So we should stop warning against the dangers of smoking?

    We pay the costs of failed relationships. We should have a say in the laws that apply to them.

    “Abuse is illegal. Thorough investigation and prosecution in the event is appropriate.”

    Some forms of abuse are illegal. As divorce kills the children five years early on average it seems to follow, to me, that all divorce is abuse. Certainly it teaches boys and girls to behave badly in ways that are bad for them. There is so much divorce and hence abuse that enforcement is a dream. It is only a few token cases that can be prosecuted.

    “No system will ever manage to prevent all determined abusers.”

    Indeed. But we can reduce the chances and hence the number of cases.

    “The majority of parents who separate manage to do so without abusing their children.”

    No they do not. All divorce is bad for children. It kills.

  49. Pingback: Time to cull the government - L'Ombre de l'Olivier

  50. “There is a social cost to divorce. We all pay for it. Why shouldn’t we have a say in the process?”

    This is the same argument that says there is a social cost to smoking, (the cost of treatment on the NHS), so society therefore has the right to make people stop smoking. Or to refuse them treatment.

    I offer you a free gift if you do what I don’t want you to do, thereby buying me a financial interest. You carrying on doing it hurts me financially, so I now have a *right* to stop you doing it.

    The same argument applies to lots of other things. There’s a social cost to allowing limited liability in bankruptcy cases. There’s a social cost to letting people build houses on their own land wherever they want. There’s a social cost to tax avoidance.

    No. You make the doing of harm illegal. You leave alone all the other things that might just happen to be correlated with it. And if society decides to help out when things go wrong, that’s society’s own free decision, which it makes in full knowledge of the costs. If you don’t like the costs, don’t help. Offering help doesn’t give you any extra right to interfere uninvited in other people’s private lives, to restrict what they can or cannot do.

  51. Society has managed to persuade itself that divorce is neutral for children.

    I suspect they studiously avoid asking any.

  52. (Addendum: I know several children who PRAY that their parents will get back together, even after the remarriages!).

    But kids are resilient!

    Yeah, so let’s beat them around a bit while we’re at it, hey?

  53. Two observations.

    First, Longrider, you keep saying that the state should get the hell out of marriage. Why? Marriage was originally always a state institution. In the case of Christianity, the Church took it over at some point — due to demand from Christians. This idea most libertarians have that the state has intruded into marriage is simply historically wrong.

    As a libertarian, I oppose state mission creep. I don’t generally object to the state doing the basic stuff it’s been doing for millenia. Sure, I can be persuaded that some of its traditional stuff should be ditched, of course. But libertarians don’t try to persuade me of that with marriage; they just assert that the state should get out, usually because they falsely believe it’s taken over. It hasn’t.

    Secondly, children have worse outcomes for their entire lives if they are not raised by a married man and woman. I agree that the whole “anyone can be a parent if they love the child enough” thing sounds nice. Factually, statistically, it isn’t true. I also agree that there are outliers disproving the general rule (plenty of them in my own rather awful family). Interesting, but not a good basis for policy — either government policy or just the personal policy of individuals choosing how to raise their kids. I also recognise that shit happens: sometimes the ideal is simply unattainable. (Although, interestingly, children of single-parent families due to the death of a parent have better outcomes than children of single-parent families due to divorce.) But there is a difference between recognising that the ideal is unattainable in a particular case and ditching the ideal as a general principle. Pretending suboptimal cases are actually optimal helps no-one.

    Once a kid’s in a state care home, sure, let a gay couple adopt them, if no straight male-and-female couple are available, because it’s better than a state care home — probably usually a hell of a lot better. But there’s no need to pretend it’s ideal. It isn’t.

    To give just one example: we know that children get their sense of empathy from their fathers. And suddenly the link between fatherless families and crime and violence becomes all too obvious.

  54. > Society has managed to persuade itself that divorce is neutral for children.
    > I suspect they studiously avoid asking any.

    Of course they do. “I don’t care if it works in practice. Does it work in theory?”

  55. And this:

    > The very notion of banning divorce is a dreadful one. A terrible, terrible idea and has no place in any civilised society. It simply is not the place of the state to instigate such a thing. Ever.

    Eh? Would you care to explain why it was OK for the state to make divorce possible, OK for the state to make divorce easier, but not OK for the state to make divorce more difficult again?

    And especially this:

    > the state interfering in what should be nothing more than a civil contract between two consenting adults.

    Oh, Lord save us from libertarians’ reductive view of the world, in which EVERY SINGLE ASPECT of human behaviour must be either a property right or a contract. Why the conviction that these are the basic building blocks of society? Some might suggest that parenthood is one of the basic building blocks of society. But no, mention parenthood to a group of libertarians and they start arguiing about whether the child is the property of the parent or there’s an implied contract between the parent and the child.

    Marriage is MARRIAGE. It contains aspects of contractiness, but is more than that. And you don’t need to smash it up into its constituent atoms in order to understand it, because it’s already atomic: it’s marriage.

    And, even if you do insist that it’s merely a contract and nothing more, it would obviously be a contract between two adults AND THEIR CHILDREN.

    Small children can understand all this. Libertarians can’t. This is why libertarians are unelectable.

  56. . . in mid-October a social worker told them that a gay couple were being put forward to adopt the children. This would involve the two men visiting the family home to prepare the children for their new life.

    So much for the “caring” homosexual couple. Apparently their desire to adopt overrules any acknowledgement by them or the social workers of the consequences to the (presumably) good foster parents and, even more important, to the children (presumably) happy to be adopted by their foster parents.

    Insofar as can be gathered from the reported facts, the gay couple’s insistence on adopting these children will cause misery to the foster parents and more likely than not to the children as well. These actions alone should disqualify them from adopting these children and, in a sane world, any children. Co-opting the social work nutters in this corruption of “family life” makes matters worse.

  57. “Society has managed to persuade itself that divorce is neutral for children. I suspect they studiously avoid asking any.”

    Ask me. My parents separated when I was a kid, and it was by a large margin the best decision for all of us, in our case. I can’t say for anyone else, but I object to people like you making unfounded generalisations about what was best for me! You don’t know. Butt out.

    “Yeah, so let’s beat them around a bit while we’re at it, hey?”

    I knew a hetero couple once, and they beat their kids. Let’s ban heterosexual marriage.

    I knew a guy with red hair who beat his kids. Let’s jail all people with red hair, just in case.

    I knew a lady who enjoyed rom-com movies who smacked her child once. Let’s ban rom-com movies.

    And so on. It’s stupid – and the only reason people don’t realise it’s stupid is that they like the conclusion so much.

    Beating kids is illegal. It’s right that it’s illegal, nobody is saying it shouldn’t be. But since it’s already illegal: job done. You don’t need to ban anything else that might peripherally increase the likelihood of or be vaguely correlated with beating kids.

    What if openly homophobic parents had or adopted a kid who turned out to be homosexual, and tried to “beat the sin” out him? (“Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die….”) Punish him for his deviancy? Torment and bully him? Take him for “treatment” at their church? Perhaps even kill him, to protect the ‘family honour’? Or just generally make his life miserable and guilt-ridden? Because all of that happens.

    But you can’t legislate on the basis of “what if”. Nor do you need to. Beatings like that are already illegal, for whatever reason, and so we don’t have to outlaw the opinions that lead to it.

    “Secondly, children have worse outcomes for their entire lives if they are not raised by a married man and woman.”

    So. Effin. What?

    Children have worse outcomes in life if they’re raised by poor people rather than rich people, uneducated rather than educated people, ill or disabled people rather than super-fit athletes – probably with blonde hair and Aryan blue eyes…

    We don’t restrict parenthood to those few who lead perfect lives, who are going to give children the best start. People in slums can have kids too, and do, and yes, their kids will suffer for it. but it’s all part of life’s rich pageant. Why should it be any different with adoption?

    People face obstacles in life, and either overcome them, or don’t. And having gay parents is far from the worst possible obstacle someone could face.

    I don’t know. You object (rightly) to social workers restricting adoption for people with lifestyles they don’t approve of, but then turn round and do exactly the same thing yourselves to anyone who doesn’t meet your standards. Sheesh.

  58. NiV,

    > I object to people like you making unfounded generalisations about what was best for me!

    If it were a statement about what was best for you, it wouldn’t be a generalisation, would it?

    The fact remains, the generalisations are founded. On loads and loads of data.

    > I knew a hetero couple once, and they beat their kids. Let’s ban heterosexual marriage.
    > I knew a guy with red hair who beat his kids. Let’s jail all people with red hair, just in case.
    > I knew a lady who enjoyed rom-com movies who smacked her child once. Let’s ban rom-com movies.
    > And so on. It’s stupid

    You want to tell us that it’s stupid to make generalisations based on individual cases AND to acknowledge that the individual case of how you feel about your parents’ divorce proves that divorce is fine for kids?

    > So. Effin. What?
    > Children have worse outcomes in life if they’re raised by poor people rather than rich people … [etc]

    Try reading what I wrote.

    > We don’t restrict parenthood to those few who lead perfect lives, who are going to give children the best start.

    This conversation is about the behaviour of social services, who do in fact try to do just that, even to the extent of removing children from their parents pre-emptively at birth just in case some hypothetical abuse might happen.

    > but it’s all part of life’s rich pageant. Why should it be any different with adoption?

    Two reasons. Firstly, because kids who are up for adoption have usually already had problem parents. I absolutely agree that shit happens and no-one has a perfect life. But I also think some people get more than their fair share of shit. If a kid’s already been in a family that was (in some way) abusive, it makes sense to try to make sure their second chance is better than the first.

    Secondly, because the family you’re born into is just luck, whilst someone is actually responsible for the choice of family you’re deliberately placed into. When someone is responsible for deliberate action, we rightly hold them to a higher standard than luck.

    > And having gay parents is far from the worst possible obstacle someone could face.

    As I said.

    > You object (rightly) to social workers restricting adoption for people with lifestyles they don’t approve of, but then turn round and do exactly the same thing yourselves to anyone who doesn’t meet your standards.

    No I don’t. Because it’s got absolutely nothing to do with whether I approve of someone’s lifestyle. And because I didn’t suggest that gay couples shouldn’t adopt. And because the thing I do disapprove of — getting divorced when you have kids — has fuck-all to do with adoption.

  59. “You want to tell us that it’s stupid to make generalisations based on individual cases AND to acknowledge that the individual case of how you feel about your parents’ divorce proves that divorce is fine for kids?”

    No. I specifically said “I can’t say for anyone else”. I meant that. What’s right is different in each case – sometimes its fine for kids, sometimes it’s not. (Like being poor is sometimes fine for kids, and sometimes not. You can’t generalise.)

    If you *have* to have a one-size-fits-all applies-to-everyone policy, then it might make sense to look at the statistics and figure out which policy would hurt the fewest. But in this case, you don’t. Every relationship is a private matter that can be decided by the people involved who best know what’s at stake. You saying ‘divorce is always bad’ is as bad as someone else saying ‘divorce is always good’. It’s none of your business.

    “This conversation is about the behaviour of social services, who do in fact try to do just that, even to the extent of removing children from their parents pre-emptively at birth just in case some hypothetical abuse might happen.”

    Yes. Agreed. That’s what I said. You might try reading what I said, as well.

    I’m saying that the same principle *also* applies to obstructing adoption applications from unmarried/gay couples, because of some (individually) hypothetical detriment that might occur.

    “Firstly, because kids who are up for adoption have usually already had problem parents.”

    Statistically, most of them non-gay, married couples…

    “I absolutely agree that shit happens and no-one has a perfect life. But I also think some people get more than their fair share of shit. If a kid’s already been in a family that was (in some way) abusive, it makes sense to try to make sure their second chance is better than the first.”

    Yes, agreed. If there are a lot more people offering to adopt than there are kids needing adoption, you can/should pick and choose the best from them. But otherwise, so long as they are above that minimum level that would prompt social services to intervene, by definition they *are* better than the first chance.

    “When someone is responsible for deliberate action, we rightly hold them to a higher standard than luck.”

    Why?

    “No I don’t.”

    Note the third person plural. Some people here did.

    “And because the thing I do disapprove of — getting divorced when you have kids — has fuck-all to do with adoption.”

    Then how did we get talking about it? “This conversation is about the behaviour of social services,” which equally has fuck-all to do with divorce.

  60. Then how did we get talking about it? “This conversation is about the behaviour of social services,” which equally has fuck-all to do with divorce.

    Children don’t magically appear dropped by the stork you know. Many of the problems that arise with children in foster care arise because of the decline of marriage due to the consequences of divorce and the rise of the often state sponsored single mother.

    Previously, this was avoided by having strong societal enforcement to get married and remain married.

    Those foolish enough to have children out of wedlock were subject to societal shame and often virtual incarceration and forced adoption in places like the Magdalene Laundries (Ireland) or similar.

    There was little state interference, most placements and adoptions being done through religious and charitable institutions. These were gradually dismantled in favour of state sanctioned institutions (which were no better and in some ways much worse).

    Children needing adoption seldom come from stable homes with two loving parents, married to each other. They come from marginal homes, almost exclusively single parent households in poverty and alcohol / drug dependency.

    To say that divorce and single motherhood have no place in this system is to ignore reality, they are primary drivers in this.

  61. > Every relationship is a private matter that can be decided by the people involved who best know what’s at stake.

    But it never is, as children never get a say in their parents’ divorce.

    Anyway, the idea that marriage is private is a nonsense. We can see this easily by observing the demands of the gay marriage lobby. Offered something that is legally exactly the same as marriage but is not called “marriage”, their demands didn’t stop: they want the right to call it “marriage” and to have their relationships called “marriage” by other people. They understand that it’s a public thing and that it’s more than its mere legal status. The most basic pared-down marriage ceremony possible involves witnesses and a public record, and always has. Some of the oldest extant records in the world are marriage records. It’s never, ever been private.

    > You saying ‘divorce is always bad’ is as bad as someone else saying ‘divorce is always good’. It’s none of your business.

    But I didn’t say “divorce is always bad.” What I did say was that the statistics indicate starkly and unequivocally that divorce is generally bad. Which they do. There are always outliers, but I wouldn’t advocate changing the speed limit to 200mph just because there are a couple of amazing drivers who’ve managed to do that without having a crash.

    > I’m saying that the same principle *also* applies to obstructing adoption applications from unmarried/gay couples, because of some (individually) hypothetical detriment that might occur.

    See, the main point of my original comment was this very conflation of two quite different things. Should we block adoption by couples just because they’re gay? No, because they’re usually better than leaving the kids in a state-run home. But just because we’re choosing the best available option is no reason to deny the existence of the huge body of evidence we have about these things. You say it’s a hypothetical detriment. It’s not. The example I gave, that children acquire empathy from their fathers, isn’t some vague guess; it’s a scientific finding, not from sociologists but from anthropologists and zoologists. Who knows, it may get overturned or updated at some point; such is the nature of science. But, right now, it’s scientific knowledge. It’s not hypothetical. And large numbers of people with empathy deficiencies is a serious societal problem.

    This conflation has serious consequences. For instance, the very example that prompted this whole thread. Social services have so internalised the false idea that there is absolutely nothing wrong with gay parents that they now reject adoptions by couples who make the mistake of mentioning the truth.

    > Statistically, most of them non-gay, married couples

    Most of them unmarried or divorced.

    > Note the third person plural.

    Second person. And I understood you were talking to a number of people here, but it was me you’d directly quoted, so it seemed reasonable to respond on my own behalf. I’m sure the others can talk for themselves too.

    > Then how did we get talking about it?

    Jesus, scroll up.

    >> When someone is responsible for deliberate action, we rightly hold them to a higher standard than luck.
    > Why?

    Hey, if you don’t think we should, take it up with your boss.

  62. S2,
    Do you have a link to the study / article about people getting empathy from their fathers?
    Sounds interesting.
    TIA

  63. “Many of the problems that arise with children in foster care arise because of the decline of marriage due to the consequences of divorce and the rise of the often state sponsored single mother.”

    Having known quite a few, I don’t believe it for a second.

    From my experiences, I’d say that the problem with the kids is because the parents are thoroughly messed up already, and this also causes them to want to divorce.

    Thuggish males who get drunk and beat their wives and kids are a recipe for messed up kids. The wife kicks the husband out, can’t cope on her own, and has to give the kids up for adoption. Or has a string of abusive boyfriends, because nobody else will touch her. Or is a teenager who got pregnant with a boy who is totally unsuitable as husband material.

    Holding a shotgun wedding, telling her and the kids they’re tied to him for the next 16 years, with no hope of escape, is NOT the answer.

    The kids with divorced parents I knew where the parents were decent and parted amicably were all perfectly normal and well-adjusted. It’s stuff all to do with the divorce.

    “Anyway, the idea that marriage is private is a nonsense.”

    It’s like “private family life”, or “private bank account”, or “private contract”. They’re public institutions, and publicly acknowledged, but the choice of whether to engage in them or not is the decision of those involved alone.

    It used to be the case that women could not engage in contracts – they had to get their father’s or husband’s permission first. They understandably objected. And even when they were allowed to form contracts-in-all-but-name (i.e. they signed and paid but officially the husband was liable for default), they still wanted equality.

    If today you tried to talk to a Saudi mutawwa, say, about why women wanted more than in-all-but-name equality, I’m sure he’d be equally uncomprehending. Is women making contracts a ‘private’ matter between them and the other party, or does society have the right to limit and legislate what they’re allowed to do?

    “The example I gave, that children acquire empathy from their fathers, isn’t some vague guess; it’s a scientific finding, not from sociologists but from anthropologists and zoologists.”

    Fascinating. Kids without fathers have no empathy?

    Sounds more like common or garden dehumanisation to me. Eugenics was a ‘scientific finding’, too.

  64. NiV,

    > Thuggish males who get drunk and beat their wives and kids

    … find it far easier to find a woman willing to marry them and have kids with them in a society that regards marriage as temporary.

    > has a string of abusive boyfriends, because nobody else will touch her.

    What? You mean the prevalence of divorce has created a large pool of willing sexual partners for abusive men? So the primary incentive for abusive men to become husband and father material has been removed? And you’re bringing this up whilst you think you’re arguing for divorce?

    > The kids with divorced parents I knew where the parents were decent and parted amicably were all perfectly normal and well-adjusted. It’s stuff all to do with the divorce.

    Gosh, how nice for them. But isn’t it “stupid” to make generalisations based on anecdata?

    > Kids without fathers have no empathy?

    No, children acquire empathy from their fathers. Not quite the same thing.

    > Sounds more like common or garden dehumanisation to me.

    Scientific findings are very rarely founded on what they sound like to you. To be clear: you think it’s “stupid” to base a generalisation on anecdata but perfectly OK to base it on a personal feeling?

    > Eugenics was a ‘scientific finding’, too.

    What a bizarre argument. Eugenics is based on the idea that if you kill or sterilise enough people who have heritable traits, you will get fewer of those heritable traits in the population. This is absolutely correct. The problem with eugenics is not that it’s unscientific but that it’s morally wrong. Did you really not know that?

    Which is why I for one don’t believe that we should ban lesbians from marrying or take away the children of every single mother: because it would be morally wrong to put all those children into state-run care homes instead of allowing them to live in imperfect families. That’s not the same as denying that the imperfections exist and punishing anyone who points out that they do, which is social services’ preferred approach.

    Anyway, sure, pick a better example of something that was once regarded as scientific truth and now isn’t. That’s still not an argument. You want to disprove a theory, you need data. And I’m afraid the world is absolutely awash with data that backs up the idea that an increase in fatherless families leads to a decrease in empathy.

    This whole argument is quite odd. I mean, I don’t know where you stand on this one, but I find there is lots of overlap between people who take the piss out of those idiotic Bible-bashers who don’t believe in evolution and people who think it doesn’t matter much to kids what kind of parents they have. Come on: billions and billions of years of every single family having a male father and a female mother, yet it’s not necessary at all because, what, because we passed a law a few decades back? Yeah, that sounds likely.

  65. @ Theo

    A lot of comment has gone by since you responded.

    “But who is going to monitor and enforce your minimum standards? ‘Child protection’ already involves too much intrusive meddling and authoritarian control – with innocent families being torn apart, and major abuse (eg Rotherham) being ignored.”

    I can’t argue with that. I’d be willing to try scrapping the lot and seeing if the overall outcome is actually better. But I can’t see most folks going along with that, regardless of the evidence or outcome.

    I was thinking of something a bit more palatable for the general public, while removing as much abused discretion as possible.

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