This weekend, I was discussing this blog with a good friend. He was not in disagreement with my position in this blog, necessarily, that we have a moral and religious obligation to love each of our neighbors, including those of the GLBT community; but he said he was concerned about the impact of GLBT parents upon their children. I can’t deny that in such relationships it is not likely uncommon that the child would be subjected to derision directed at the parents. I recognize it may be difficult for a child who has called her mother “Mom” to transition to call that same person, “Dad.” I am aware that before doctors will perform necessary operations to accomplish trans-gender purposes, the patient is required to have counseling. I wonder whether their existing children, and those that might join their family later, are included in that counseling process; and, if so, how are they prepared for that transition, what are the techniques, what are the challenges, and what are the success rates?
My friend wonders to what degree would-be transgender persons are counseled to consider the impact of their decision upon their children, both pre-trans and post-trans. He asks, “If the child is seriously stressed by the transition or the non-traditional relationship of the parents according to “accepted” social conventions, to what degree is an observer of that stress obligated to report physical and mental abuse in a state, such as this, Nebraska, that has mandatory abuse and neglect reporting statutes?”
Then, as to a father, such as nmyself, who is prevented by physical circumstances from significantly participating in my child’s activities, how is that different? If my child is acting out because of stress relating to his concern for my health, how should the child be helped to deal with that stress – by removal from my home or by help to cope with those special circumstances? Not to suggest that hermaphroditic persons should be considered sick, which it is not, but only the natural gift of nature, how is their genetically ambivalent inheritance different from my illness which is a challenge for my child to adjust to?
I think my friend has a point that adults have some obligation to consider the impact their choices will have upon their children, present and future, who have no choice in the matter. I also wonder whose job is it to determine whether GLBT issues as affecting children is abuse or neglect of that child? It strikes me as an attorney that any child who has special needs, which such children would appear to have, that are not being met for whatever reason, that person likely has a legal and moral obligation to report that to the appropriate authorities, and then allow those authorities, as provided by the law, to make their determination as to the child’s abuse or neglect and, if abuse or neglect, to determine an appropriate disposition.
It strikes me that mere difficulty is no reason, of itself, to prevent an otherwise healthy and advantageous venture. But the effect of that difficulty and effectiveness of means in surmounting it is an issue that would be appropriate for discussion, which I invite.