This principle could be advanced more systematically. That is, perhaps adoption by same-sex couples should not just be permitted, but random and compulsory. If you're married and of child-rearing age, you might be assigned a baby!
The agency making the assignments can be called the State Taskforce Organizing Reproductive Co-equality, or STORC. So when these children ask where they came from, the happy parents can honestly say, "the STORC dropped you off".
Oh, please god no.
Not ever having to worry about getting a phone call telling me I've gotten someone pregnant is right up there on the best-things-about-being-gay list with watching men's gymnastics at the Olympics and it being okay to own lots of shoes.
Are you trying to make us miserable?
I don't mean to scare you, but that is the mother of all sampling bias (to quote xkcd). The parents that don't do so well, generally have a smaller chance of being grandparents. I'm sure all of you reading this will do just fine though.
I also need to say that that judge was awesome.
Some people would argue that those who don't do well as parents are more likely to have grandkids...
Now you have a lot of not so great parents spawning at an alarming rate.
Edit: I'm being sarcastic.
I think there may also be mechanisms for women to get the contraceptive pill gratis if they are on government support.
The issue is though that this requires some degree of responsibility and planning, which is almost by definition missing in people who breed irresponsibly.
So you have a lot of people who want a lot of children or are at least indifferent to having them, however they have no financial means to support that many children.
I guess if you have not been successful career-wise then having a large family might give one a sense of accomplishment.
The upshot of that is that it's not fair to let these kids starve so the government has to offer welfare to these families. For example it is much easier to get government subsidised housing if you have children. So you end up with a situation like we have in the UK where people sometimes have children because they will get a free house (and if you have more kids you get a bigger house) where otherwise they might be homeless or forced to live with parents etc.
So quite the vicious cycle.
Contraceptive implant, coil, IUD, all still free last time I checked. It's not only condoms. And if your local surgery can't provide what you want due to a skills shortage you can go to a sexual health clinic with no problem.
When I was chatting with the GUM clinic staff last time I had my implant changed, she was talking about how common it was for teens to have it, since it's such an easy fire and forget contraceptive.
Preventing STIs however, that's another issue.
Although I think it applies to most of the first world.
An interesting definition of "first world" could be "the point where native deaths outweigh native births".
Don't use it as contraception, it's easier to educate and use different methods.
Once you have decided that you do not under any circumstances want children, the only better way to prevent it is abstinence.
Some people do not ever want kids.
Pretty much all of my friends who have kids planned it out based on specific milestones (when we have a house, when we are making more money, when the wife is done with her residency, etc). Then 90% of the time life doesn't go as planned and milestones keep getting pushed back so they go "fuck it - we're getting old" and stop using birth control.
So to hear that, on a hunch, a judge can give a newborn to a couple that had expressed no previous interest in having kids, wtf. It's a nice story, and I'm glad that it worked out so well for everyone. But for me it really underlines how fucked up the system really is.
The system is massively screwed up, but I hope you can be patient. Being a parent is worth all the waiting and heartache x 1000!
I guess without kids it's be 4am and I'd be debugging something.
In only one of these scenarios am I not covered in vomit.
I'm hoping for one of those "what'll you remember later" moments, but right now I'm remembering a particularly nice day with gdb and otool -tv. Darling little otool!
Although it is telling that you inferred that the vomit was associated with the kid, and not the debugging session :-)
If, without paperwork, one child was sexually abused for every one child who got adopted, would you agree that more bureaucracy was needed? Now go to the other extreme, where the bad scenario happens only once in a million and is "child gets insulted by new parents", meanwhile no other children are getting adopted to prevent this minor one-in-a-million chance. Definitely too much paperwork.
Before saying that bureaucracy, in this area, helps more than hinders, or hinders more than helps, you not only need to know these stats (i.e. how many children would be worse or better off with more or less bureaucracy), but also make a subjective judgement call on what rations are acceptable.
By its very nature bureaucracy only ever grows. It's far easier to add a new form to fill, add a new step, do a knee-jerk reaction to one bad thing that happened, add more months to the waiting list, than to analyse the monstrous process to figure out what to change or remove.
Good god am I glad that it got to the front page so I read it.
"On-Topic: Anything that good hackers would find interesting. That includes more than hacking and startups. If you had to reduce it to a sentence, the answer might be: anything that gratifies one's intellectual curiosity."
If it "gratifies one's intellectual curiosity, it's totally cool.
And for those wondering what place this has on HN, I actually read HN for interesting, often-not-technically-related news.
Thug tears—inna bottle! On the internet.
Neither my wife nor I were ready for any of our kids. I don't think you ever are. What these guys did was, among other things, down-right heroic. Not everyone would be open to changing their lives to such an extent by choice.
It's also a wonderful representation of real values found in the gay community.
This country will be far better off when we start to seriously pull away from fanatical religiously-motivated phobias, discrimination and down-right bigotry.
As an atheist I am actually seen as worst than a gay person by the religious extreme right. I bet you a pile of cash not one of those self-righteous a--holes would even think about adopting a non-white kid someone found in the subway.
Anyhow, enjoyed the story. Something socially positive to point to for the day. And, yes, I think it definitely belongs on HN's front page. Personally, when I only focus on tech I feel like I become less of a human being. This is one thing my kids taught me by force over the years.
> "I bet you a pile of cash not one of those self-righteous a--holes would even think about adopting a non-white kid someone found in the subway."
Having known several families from the religious right who have done exactly this, I would be happy to accept your pile of cash. There, now we can let my anecdotal evidence cancel out the hasty generalization.
> "This country will be far better off when we start to seriously pull away from fanatical religiously-motivated phobias, discrimination and down-right bigotry."
While this may be true, one should not take it as an excuse to indulge in non-religiously-motivated bigotry.
There are good people everywhere, religion has very little to do with being good and neither does sexual orientation.
This site is for technical and business discussion. There are other sites serving chicken soup for your soul.
There is no simple answer here, it's irrelevant, to the point where all you overzealous stack overflow members would vote to have it removed, but on the other hand, I'm glad it's here, sometimes we can get so wrapped up in our little bubble that we forgot that things happen outside of it.
Consider the Aaron Swartz debacle, that flooded HN for weeks, some days the top posts were filled with it, but they were, for the large part, noise against a background, like how someone met him in a subway one time (real example, but no link, so consider it allegory for my plot, if you will), but still we kept it here, because his case both wrenched our hearts and made us angry and want to change something, these stories are what reminds us of how good (and often stupid) humans can be - I think this falls squarely within that realm, irrelevant noise, but enthralling and well worth featuring none the less.
Where did you get that from? This site is for things that are interesting. This story is so unusual that it's interesting.
Meta subthreads are not interesting.
* there's quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that moderators killfile individual articles, and we all know certain sites are fully blocked
Saying, "because it's a good story," doesn't address the question that this thread started with.
And the format of HN is very, very clear. Don't try to pretend that it is meant to be one's sole source of news.
This story manages to cut across a swath of different social issues: race, gender (I falsely assumed that it was a woman writing when the first instance of 'husband' was mentioned) gay marriage, the extraordinary power given to the family court system and even the urban versus rural divide.
I don't think this article is going to kick off a bunch of startups that are "like Instragram but for abandoned babies in a subway", but I do think we are in a unique position to potentially effect the lives of millions of people with the output of our work and being more mindful of stories in the larger society can only help that.
The internet can be too focused sometimes and we lose out on a lot of serendipity as a result.
It's encouraging to read such actions, even if in this case it's not a technical or business move, can end successfully and happily.
This might be one of those "just let go and either ignore or enjoy it" things. People complain a lot about non-tech/business articles on HN, but they're not going away... and really, does it matter?
1. Right place at the right time (found abandoned baby in subway).
2. Unexpected (wasn't 'in the market' for a baby or considering purchasing/obtaining one in the near future)
3. It's who you know (in person, the judge offered the option to adopt)
4. Narrow window of time for decision making (had to commit to a yes or no at moment of offer or it would become less likely)
5. Total commitment, against all odds (sceptical partner, unreliable system, health of infant unknown, same-sex parenting unorthodox and not universally supported, etc.)
6. Happy ending (stories of wasted opportunities are a dime a dozen and impossible to substantiate, "What if...?")
I would think any startup could easily relate to these aspects of the story. That's why I think it works so well as a parable.
When we talk about gay marriage and adoption I always need to query a little more, especially about the kids.
What's about Kevin ? His life is "perfectly normal" (how stupid is this expression) ? He is happy ? Does he have problem with his sexuality ?
Do anybody have any experience to share ?
Please to be obvious, in neither way...
(Why this is on HN ? Well, because I believe that HN is one of the best community on the internet, it is normal that people want to share stories and ask opinion to other they respect/admire)
He had parents who were presumably a man and a woman. They left him in a bundle in a subway.
He had parents who were a man and a man. They dropped everything in their life and rearranged it so they could save a stranger's baby who only needed to be taken care of.
What's the point of even questioning his sexuality? He's prepubescent, he's not got a problem with his sexuality because he doesn't even have a sexuality.
I do know he will have grown up with parents who were not 'normal', but who were tolerant enough to sacrifice their whole quality of life for the baby of a stranger, of another race, of whom they knew absolutely no history. He could have had fetal alcohol syndrome, he could have been a crack baby, he could have been broken in many imaginable ways. Instead, they took this baby, they stood by it even when the 911 operator didn't believe their story, they made sure it was looked after, and when asked they agreed to raise it without hesitation.
These are upstanding people. Nothing indicates that homosexuality is contagious, but even if the kid does end up gay due to his upbringing, then what of it? It didn't stop his parent's from being upstanding people. Being straight didn't make his birth parents paragons of virtue.
I agree with the rest of your comment, but that specific sentence... It has been known for at least a century that children, and even babies, have a sexuality (which does not mean they have sexual intercourse).
I find it hard to understand what you mean by this question.
Are you asking whether Kevin is gay? Most children raised by gay couples are straight, but if Kevin was gay, would you consider that to be a problem with his sexuality?
If that's not what you meant, then what did you mean? Can you give a concrete example of something that you'd consider a problem with his sexuality that might be caused by his parents being gay?
One of my friends in college considered herself to be a lesbian, had a long term girlfriend, and had been raised by lesbian parents. She's now happily married to a man and considers herself bisexual. I wouldn't be surprised if someone more to the middle of the sexual spectrum were more likely to act on same sex desires if they have parents as an example.
You may not be aware of this, but this question will likely get you downvoted as it will be perceived as homophobia (or at least heteronormativity).
It's like asking - is it true that black people have statistically larger lips than people of other colours - then is that really racist? I don't think it is.
But if you take the answer to that question,and somehow infer from it that because of it your "race" is better than others, then it only means that you are racist,not the question.
My point is - scientists need different kind of statistics to understand how the world works. If they ask if a child raised by two gay people is more likely to have problems with its own sexuality, then I don't see that as homophobic or aggressive - it's not personal after all.
The problem is that these sorts of questions are often the precursor to banning unconventional families until someone proves that no harm is done. That sort of thinking is harmful, but I don't think asking the questions is harmful.
Likewise with the race question: if a poster had asked "does the white child raised by black parents identify more strongly with black culture than other white children?" that might be a legitimate sociological question, but the implication that that's a problem is what makes the question problematic.
I am sorry if you felt offended by my question, but you should realized that in some country (mine as example) being gay, gay marriage, gay adopting kids, are big issues, and there is a lot of questioning and discussion about.
If we are going to be open-mindedly curious, then let's ask questions like what is the basis for imagining that being gay is a choice?
If nobody had such beliefs, then it is virtually impossible to understand why we would suppose that gay people are unfit as parents.
While I don't agree with these arguments (for the record, I'm gay), it would be possible to make them without being homophobic. Would they be made in nobody had the beliefs you describe? Perhaps not, but they could be.
Just no being a drug-addicted and not having a debilitating mental disorder is enough to be an above-average parent.
However, there's lots of studies with lots of results and generally often very small sample groups. I would say from the article it sounds like he's well adjusted and happy, if he's gay he's gay, if he's straight he's straight.
What do you mean by problem? Like he feels guilty for being straight or something?
Great relationship there. This story turned out well only because of her.
BTW this is why many cities now have a law there is no penalty to leave a newborn at a firestation, yet some cities still resist it.
10 years ago it was more then extraordinary to entrust a gay couple with adopting a child.
Times and attitudes have changed massively in this time, which is a good thing. It's much better for a kid to be brought up by a loving, caring gay couple then in a total dysfunctional traditional marriage.
Still, who adopts a child spontaneously without consulting their parter?
The real miracle here is the partner that didn't leave him over it.
And this adoption wasn't completed until Danny signed on. Someone had to start the ball rolling.
You don't adopt a child when you have a partner without even mentioning to them, let alone discussing it.
I mean that's insane, and I don't get the downvotes.
Who the hell adopts a kid while in a long-term relationship without even asking their partner?
It's all good because it turned out okay but seriously who does this? It's a massive life-changing event. You plan these things, otherwise it shows a complete lack of respect.
In any case, you didn't read the story carefully enough. They went back to court, both of them, to confirm they were both willing to adopt. Had the partner objected, the adoption wouldn't have happened. You're going to have to find something else to find objectionable in this story. :)
Maybe there is context that we're not aware of. Perhaps they had both previously expressed a desire to raise children.
Even if the other party did not agree with it initially this is just the same reaction any parent would have for their children, which is that the childs needs come first.
Makes perfect sense to me.
It was more a comment about how the story was expressed and what was said by those in it. Just as something said can be corny, a joke, a wedding proposal, etc. imo, an event can be considered corny, if there are a lot of corny things happening within it, although I'm no expert on the English language.
Two thumbs up.
But thanks for proving my point that it gets way undervalued here.
The judge was in a position to make an exception. You can have 500 friends outraged at the injustice of bias against gay couples in adoption. Odds are poor that any of them can really do anything about it. And a wedding is possibly the only good excuse to request a judges services for a feel good reunion. Judges are supposed to be impartial. It is generally inappropriate to contact them for hugs and the like.
There is quite a lot of brilliant stuff in this article. I am sorry you do not see it.
I am surprised the NYT Editor did not ask the author to make it clear if it is a fictional or real story.