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We Found Our Son in the Subway (opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com)
839 points by mccolin 1696 days ago | hide | past | web | 175 comments | favorite

Renews faith in humanity. This belongs on HN, because it really does point out the humanity that we all want to touch with our development. These are real people, with real issues, with real emotions, and each one of them may be a user of our products, using them to improve their lives, their sons lives, or whatever. Its very important to be able to empathize with people, and be able to know their stories, this is the only way to build great things that people love. You can say that this isn't "technical" or "business" related, it is however very related to human beings and ultimately these "humans" are your business, your source of profitability. If anything, more articles like these should be on HN.


Bump this to the top! Definitely more details about the situation, and more about the awesome judge.

Sound reasonable to me. That judge is probably a parent. I suspect most parents understand: if we waited to be "ready", nobody would ever be a parent. Conventional parents get months and months of notice. If they're like me, they're still nowhere close to "ready". It's terrifying. But you, and these guys, and everyone else just do what we've been doing for hundreds of thousands of years.

Indeed, the judge managed (on an ultra-compressed timescale) to provide this same-sex couple the same experience of surprise parenthood that alt-sex couples may have through an unplanned pregnancy.

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".

"you might be assigned a baby!"

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?

You know what they say: we're giving you gay marriage so that you can be as miserable as we are.

It would need an opt out, much like contraception.

OK, but with a small non-zero chance of opt-out failure.

Fellow child-commenters: parent comment is best enjoyed as delightfully Swiftian.

"But you, and these guys, and everyone else just do what we've been doing for hundreds of thousands of years."

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.

"The parents that don't do so well, generally have a smaller chance of being grandparents."

Some people would argue that those who don't do well as parents are more likely to have grandkids...

Depends on what "well" means. :)

or are more likely to have grandkids at an earlier age

If they neglect their kids so bad that they actually die, which I guess used to happen frequently before the invention of welfare etc.

Now you have a lot of not so great parents spawning at an alarming rate.

Ah yes. The social safety net is causing society to be overrun by a plague of undesirables. If we would only let people die in the streets, our society would be pure.

Edit: I'm being sarcastic.

That's an exaggeration, sterilisation should be sufficient.

Edit: I'm being sarcastic.

Not a bad idea. What if the government offered free tubal ligation and vasectomy. If you later want to have kids that cost is on you to reverse it.

Here in the UK at least basically everyone has access to free contraception, you can usually walk into a health clinic and ask for a bag of condoms and they will give them to you.

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.

at least in 2007 the pill was free as well.

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.

Not a particularly vicious cycle given a society that a) only works if it grows b) only grows due to immigration

Which society are you talking about?

Parent said, "Here in the UK".

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".

OK. So what makes you think that a society only works if it grows?

Hmmm, you might want to check out your pension plan. Also, have a look at your country's next published budget.

The vasectomy (and I guess the tube ligation as well, I haven't looked into it) is NOT reversible. You can try and there's some success rate, the sooner you do it the better chances, but it's not a reversible method.

Don't use it as contraception, it's easier to educate and use different methods.

>Don't use it as contraception,

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.

Why else would you have a vasectomy or tubal ligation if not for contraceptive reasons?

if we waited to be "ready", nobody would ever be a parent.

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.

This was hard for me to read. I spent four years waiting to adopt a child.Did almost a year of training and home visits, then waited. And waited. Why does it take so long? Because we selfishly insisted that we'd only take one ortwo children. The social workers were not subtle in letting us know that we were selfish to not want a sibling group of 4 or 5(?!) kids all at once. They made it absolutely clear that we could not expect to have a newborn, and a child under 8 was unlikely.

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.

My wife and I also adopted through a state Family Services division. You probably don't want to hear how we got lucky and got a baby within a few months... But we did come pretty close to taking a sibling group of 5. The case worker basically decided she didn't like/want us and that was that. We were pretty upset at the time, but things often have a way of working out.

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!

It's 4am and I'm reading hacker news in the play yard.

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!

The puking phase is only a couple of weeks, really. I think you exaggerate...

Kid is ten months old with a stomache flu, so not really.

Although it is telling that you inferred that the vomit was associated with the kid, and not the debugging session :-)

Ok didn't think about that... Hope kid gets well soon!

I'd like to think that the judge in this case was (very pragmatically) wanting to avoid having the infant in foster care for any longer than necessary. I'm happy that it seems to have worked out.

With a long backlog of couples interested in adoption, having undergone rigorous checks, this would have been easy. The judge let a couple adopt a child where half the couple wasn't even informed.

Thanks for sharing this. The OP is a great story as well. Bureaucracy sucks more than it helps almost always.

I think that's much too simplistic a view - I don't know whether you're right or wrong, but based on the way you worded it I think you almost certainly don't either.

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.

I don't disagree that there is an invisible line somewhere where having process and formality is important to have. But I have the world-view that, in 2013, most legal and governmental processes have too much bureaucracy. Sure, we can't just give babies away to anyone who wants one without checking them out. But it shouldn't take years and $1000s to successfully apply to adopt one under normal circumstances. (Although heterosexual parents can breed them without such checks so it seems overly unfair.)

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.

You're assumption that the bureaucracy produces any good effects may be false. See: the TSA.

Bureaucracy has the potential to do 100% good or 0% good, specific examples don't change that.

Were you waiting in the same state/program/whatever? Maybe your state has less supply and you should enlist in NY.

Good god this has nothing to do with HN.

Good god am I glad that it got to the front page so I read it.

I was waiting for the part where they asked the judge to join their new web based child adoption startup as an advisor

Ergo it has everything to do with HN.

Yeah, "what belongs on HN" is basically "what HNers upvote".

Indeed, that is in fact very explicitly what belongs on HN. Quoted from the HN Guidelines:

"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.

If you think about it, it is technically a hack. They sort of hacked the adoption process. From my understanding usually adoption is significantly more difficult.

I think technically the judge hacked the adoption process.

"what HNers upvote" - "what moderators kill"

Ugh. This yanked a couple of thug tears outta me.

And for those wondering what place this has on HN, I actually read HN for interesting, often-not-technically-related news.

My first non-congratulating HN comment ever is to completely agree with you. Valuable insights come from all different kinds of stories. I'm glad this community recognizes that, and what a wonderful piece this is.

I actually read HN for the thug tears.

You'll be interested in my new startup idea then:

Thug tears—inna bottle! On the internet.

Yup. Got me too. Beautiful story. Lots of love there.

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.

Sorry to nitpick, but these two quotes stuck out at me:

> "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.

For instance, the book "The Blind Side" [1] is about a black kid who got adopted by an evangelical family.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blind_Side:_Evolution_of_a_...

I am not generalizing other than to say that the hyper-religious right-wing white population has been known for being less than tolerant.

There are good people everywhere, religion has very little to do with being good and neither does sexual orientation.

If it were not for those fanatical religiously-motivated phobias that you decry, that kid would have been murdered before he was ever born.

"thug tears" <--- hilarious

Hah! You mock but this is a serious issue for those of us who can't have their reputations for non-mushiness compromised.

Yeah, my eyes watered a bit, too. Probably the the perfume of all the hotties hanging off me while I read the article.

This got me too. And there hasn't been much that moves me to a few tears in many years now. My two daughters born are about the only things. That's probably why, i'm a big softie for kids now.

But there are plenty of other places for that and although these stories are heart warming I come here for technical articles and discussion. These stories just clog that up and keep other more technical stories deeper in the site.

So do posts like this one.

My grand-father when he was a young 15 years old farmer found a lost kid on an Indian train. After search for his parents for years with no luck. He adopted the lost kid, at the age of 18 he became a father of a 7 year old. Today the little kid is a retried doctor that resides in New Jersey.

Great story. Can someone explain why this belongs on HN?

I think because we do a lot of "sky is falling", "everyone in charge is hopelessly clueless" etc. around here, sometimes we just need some good news about things going right once in a while. Even if its a bit off topic.

Is this the only location where you receive all of your information about the world?

This site is for technical and business discussion. There are other sites serving chicken soup for your soul.

This site may be for "technical and business" discussion, but ultimately, it comes down to popular opinion, I for one think the story was great but there seems to be a fairly even split going on here, that is, half of us think it's heart warming, and the other half think that it's heart warming and irrelevant.

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.

This site is for technical and business discussion.

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.

I would have thought the word "Hacker" in the title would give away the fact that yes, it is in fact a site for technical discussions.

Read the FAQ. HN is specifically not just a place for technical/business discussion.

The guidelines say otherwise.

Well I stand corrected then. Continue on with your heart string party.

Very well. Given the recent and tragic case of one Aaron Swartz, are we to conclude that the justice system is irredeemably corrupt and cruel, forever serving the most special of special interests, devoid of all humanity? Why no, here's a counterpoint.

Because some stories transcend classification and we have hearts as well as heads.

I don't think anyone is suggesting that you shouldn't read this story. I wouldn't expect a story about the latest release of Twitter Bootstrap to show up in the Wall Street Journal, though, and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the Sports section front page doesn't include stories about a recent fire, heroic as the firefighters might be.

It's strange to me that you are comparing HN to traditional media. Mostly* the editors of Hacker News are readers. The readers choose what they want to read. The readers have spoken. It's too bad you disagree with the people who voted it up, but there's no point in quarreling with the format of HN itself.

* there's quite a bit of anecdotal evidence that moderators killfile individual articles, and we all know certain sites are fully blocked

I feel the article has no business here as well, but as it is this format is fairly democratic and majority rules. If a mod were to kill it many would be upset and claim overreach, especially since it's popular. Knowing that if it's both irrelevant AND unpopular it will get downvoted to oblivion is about as good as it gets. People will always have their gripes, have to compromise somewhere

I don't disagree with you. Please look at what I was replying to.

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.

You beat me to it.

Because, as of this writing, 54 members of HN think it does?

At our best, we as the hacking + doing and building community are both inextricably part of and trying to change society.

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.

They used eMail to get back in touch with the judge to get married. eMail is way technological.

So by that logic we should start linking to every story about celebrities embarrassing themselves on Twitter.

Because it's a good example of how ready some people are for disruption. What seems disrupting in a negative way to some people can make others' lives simpler. Removing the obstacles to gay marriage (or legalizing, but that sort of implies that it wasn't already a constitutional right) is one such case.

It doesn't belong on HN. But I read it, and... well... I just could not help upvoting it. Sometimes a judge can abuse her powers, and we hear those stories from time to time. This time a judge used her powers to transform the world in a wonderful way.

This is a perfect example of a well-played pivot.

Cause feel good fluff helps the masses avoid their fears and self doubt/loathing/etc. HN stories are selected by the masses (or some increasing LCD subset of same).

Would you have stumbled on it if it weren't? I know I wouldn't have.

The internet can be too focused sometimes and we lose out on a lot of serendipity as a result.

A friend of mine, whom I know does not read HN, linked to this on Facebook before I saw it here. I would be willing to bet that most HN readers who have Facebook accounts will see it pop up in their news feed soon, if they haven't already.

I think this story resonates with the HN community because it hinges on a very large leap of faith. The same kind of bold, against all the odds move that starting your own business takes.

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.

While I agree with this sentiment... I also enjoyed and upvoted the article. :)

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?

I can't think of a better parable for opportunity than this story.

Poe's law... can't tell if this is sarcastic or not

Not sarcastic. The story has some key elements:

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.

Love the story.

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)

The child is better off than he would have been had he been left in the subway. Kids need most of all someone who will go out of their way to keep them safe and healthy.

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.

> He's prepubescent, he's not got a problem with his sexuality because he doesn't even have a sexuality.

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).


That article is mostly based on Freud who had little to no scientific basis for his theories. I do not recommend reading it without also reading up on the current theories first.

> Does he have problem with his sexuality ?

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?

I do think this is an interesting question however unpolitically-correct it will be. A lot of our notions about sexuality seem to be at least somewhat cultural considering how drastically they've changed from ancient times until now, so it seems plausible that it would change your view of sexuality. It's unfortunate that investigating this sort of thing is dog whistling for homophobia.

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.

Perceptions of sexuality are deeply cultural. In general the evolution there seems to be towards the more restrictive/puritan.

>Does he have problem with his sexuality ?

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).

I was aware, and I really don't care, it is a very interesting question and nobody is in the position to judge curiosity. The whole point of comment on HN is to discuss, share ideas and opinion, caring about down votes is not helping :-) I only wish somebody to answer such question without caring of the reaction of other people

Which is a shame really. Someone's open-minded curiosity shouldn't be cast aside because of a hypothesis that is politically incorrect.

I consider "political correctness" to be the sort of back-bending linguistic contortionism typical of politicians and PR departments terrified of offending anyone. That's not what's going on here. I'm gay, and while I don't have children, the idea that, were I to adopt one, I'd risk sexually damaging said child with my gayness is offensive. Can you imagine the reaction there would be to someone asking a parallel question about race ("Does the white child adopted by black parents have problems with his racial identity?").

There is nothing wrong with the question you asked. Absolutely nothing. We are intelligent, educated people - if we ask these questions, it's not because we want to ridicule people or offend them,but because we are genuinely curious. The other option would be to remain ignorant and not ask in the fear that this question might offend someone, which in my brain is just sick and wrong.

But these are not randomly selected questions. To illustrate, consider if someone posted a story asking whether Jews were genetically disposed to be greedy. This could be dressed up quite a bit, and it's not impossible that this would very rarely be asked by someone without any social awareness. But there's a smart prior which says that someone asking such a question has a strong agenda and that the "just asking questions" bit is a smoke screen.

It's not the question that's wrong, but what you do with the answer that's important.

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.

Racial social identity in inter-racial families is a hugely important issue, and ignoring it is deeply harmful to a child, who faces harassment from peers and strangers, internal confusion, etc.

And is present in this case. But the OP decided to ask about gay parents instead...

I consider your hypothetical question to be a legitimate one.

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.

I agree that there are potentially-interesting sociological questions to be asked, but it's possible to ask them in a way that's not loaded. The parent poster asks about whether the kid has "problems with his sexuality," which I take to be asking either whether as a result of having gay parents, the kid is gay (implying that gayness is a "problem"), or alternatively, whether the gay parents have caused some problem other than gayness... like what, one wonders? Is the implication that being around gay people makes one asexual, or that gay people abuse children such that they grow up sexually stunted, or something? I have difficulty envisioning an implication that isn't based on an underlying assumption that gayness is bad. Had the poster instead asked, "did having gay parents make the child gay?", that question would have ended up in the "good-natured but misguided" category, and I would have felt more comfortable just answering the question instead of complaining about it.

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.

Maybe he thought the parents are Catholic which would mean Kevin would have guilt over his sexuality regardless of him being gay or straight?


I believe it will be more offensive if I don't ask any question and I will just keep my opinion. Honestly most of the people in this planet believes that there is something wrong in gay marriage and gay adopting kids, (there are more country where gay don't have the right they deserve, than country where they do have rights) investigation, and asking question -I believe- is the only way to change things.

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.

Some people refuse to adopt interracially for exactly that reason, though.

Supposing that people are recruited into homosexuality by gay parents is not precisely described as "open-minded curiosity".

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?

Its possible to have a mistaken idea and still be open to finding out the truth.

This. My own uninformed prejudices are towards "parents > no parents", but I'd prefer to actually know rather than guessing.

Parents are parents. Straight parents are parents. Gay parents are parents. There's no fundamental difference.

One of the implications of this "question" relies on the common belief that gay men are pedophiles and/or will teach gay sex to the children. In some people's heads, it's a matter of wicked, unclean gays corrupting the innocent children.

If nobody had such beliefs, then it is virtually impossible to understand why we would suppose that gay people are unfit as parents.

No, there are arguments (I'm not saying good ones) for why gay parents are different. Traditionally fathers and mothers have had different roles, this is cultural, so what happens if a gay couple adopt and don't adapt to cover the traditional role of the other gender. To use an out-dated (very) and somewhat sexist example, how will the son of lesbians learn to hunt animals, how will the daughter of gay men learn to make clothes?

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.

Trqditional roles are really quite a weak notion. There is huge variance among parenting styles across the population.

Just no being a drug-addicted and not having a debilitating mental disorder is enough to be an above-average parent.

I think you may be wrong. To be parents as a gay couple (particularly if male) there often has to be considerably more effort to get there. This would generally mean that the parents really strongly wanted to be parents. This fact alone surely makes for a better environment for kids than one where the child could be an accident.

Wikipedia to the rescue: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_parenting#Sexual_orientati...

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.

I would assume he would have less problems than a normal child in accepting his own sexual identity but more problems in acting on it if he was straight. Gay parents would probably be accepting of any sexuality and supportive which would free a child with a non-normal sexual identity from judgement and provide more support. If however the child was straight while the parents would probably be supportive he wouldn't necessarily know what his traditional gender role in a relationship would be from observation of his family. (Which could be a help or a hindrance in the dating world) however I'm sure that could be easily counter-balanced by the accessibility of straight role models in normal society who could give advice and guidance.

You may want to read both The Kid and The Commitment by Dan Savage. They might give you some personal insights into family life as a gay couple with a baby.

> Does he have problem with his sexuality?

What do you mean by problem? Like he feels guilty for being straight or something?

That is an amazing story.

Lovely story but what kind of husband offers to adopt a child without even previously discussing it his wife?

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.

Fyi, I believe this is actually a gay couple given the author's name is Peter and his partner is named Danny.

Which makes the judge even more amazing in my book.

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.

Oops, my fault for not paying attention to details.

Still, who adopts a child spontaneously without consulting their parter?

The real miracle here is the partner that didn't leave him over it.

In point of fact, quite many babies are conceived against the intent or desire of at least one parent.

And this adoption wasn't completed until Danny signed on. Someone had to start the ball rolling.

Whoa, this isn't a puppy.

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.

The parallels in this story to unplanned conception in conventional marriages are so obvious that I wonder if they're deliberate. Many children are brought into the world under exactly the same emotional/psychological circumstances.

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. :)

>Who the hell adopts a kid while in a long-term relationship without even asking their partner?

Maybe there is context that we're not aware of. Perhaps they had both previously expressed a desire to raise children.

You also don't find a baby. Can we grant this is an extreme circumstance?

> what kind of husband offers to adopt a child without even previously discussing it his wife?

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.

Pretty hard not to find that touching.

Really heart warming. Also makes me wonder how they handled the financial challenges of raising a child as a young social worker and playwright couple in new york.

Well damn. Now I have to wipe these tears off my keyboard.

Honestly if there was more of a proliferation of this kind of news instead of the constant barrage of negativity and fear that is pushed upon us through mainstream propaganda er... media channels then perhaps we wouldn't need the TSA with their hands up our butts feeling around for shit that isn't there... pun intended.

I'm wondering how many upvoted because they found the article worthwhile versus upvoting because they noticed the author is not a women and that's what's expected. I say this because to me it looks like it's something that's off-topic judging by the guidelines.

What an absolutely beautiful story.

This would never have happened in Kenya where the Children's Act expressly forbids homosexuals from adopting. Sad.

Foundlings are actually fairly common. The only novelty here is that the adoptive individuals are nontraditional.

Good story. Am I the only one who read the title as "We Found Our Son in Subway?" As in the restaurant.

My theory is that one of the reasons nature makes gay people is so that there are extra parents.

What a corny story

If it weren't true...

Fuck off.. I've got a right to my own opinion

Why so hostile? I just thought it was a weird concept to consider something true to be corny. I'd literally never seen it used to describe anything that wasn't fiction.

Sorry, I didn't realize what you meant by that. I've expressed dissenting opinions on tech forums before and had some negative experiences, so I guess I was overly sensitive about it.

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.

Touching story!


I don't know why people would say this does not belong here. Social hacking gets so little respect.

Two thumbs up.

WTF is social hacking? Such a trendy, useless, word.

Figuring out effective social solutions. The article is a great example of the judge cutting through red tape, a gay couple getting a child without having to fight social crapola tooth and nail, and culminates with a gay marriage which couldn't have previously taken place but is now possible. Plus the couple used the marriage as an opportunity to give some closure to their adopted child. I think it is brilliant on several fronts. And this social stuff is something a lot of hackers seem to feel is a personal weak area, so articles like this potentially have more value for them than for someone like me who already has good skillz in this area.

But thanks for proving my point that it gets way undervalued here.

But where is the hacking? The judge just used her prorrogative to make (something great) happen.

Social hacking is about getting extraordinary, even "impossible," social outcomes with a relative light burden of effort or personal cost. To achieve that, you have to recognize when you are presented with a very rare opportunity and know how to take advantage of it. People in a position to make an exception are the exception, not the norm.

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.

It seems to be a fictional story. The author is a playwright and a screenwriter. No last names are given (except the author), and the desire for anonymity is not explicitly stated.

I am surprised the NYT Editor did not ask the author to make it clear if it is a fictional or real story.

This objection is beyond silly, but here's another writeup, not from this author, for Parents magazine.


It's not. There is a clear byline with the author's full name. We generally understand that columns in the NYT are not fiction.

That is beside the point - that's an example of someone who lied. mrb is confused about whether the author is presenting fiction or non-fiction, independent of wether or not it is true. Of course, we hope and assume that if the author is presenting non-fiction, then it is, in fact, non-fiction, but that's an independent point.

To me, it is unclear if the first-person narrative is a literary device, or refers to the author. I am really confused. I wish someone could clarify.

That's my point: columns in the NYT are non-fiction.

Ok, thanks. I was not aware.

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