Apparently to create an impression that the media house promotes liberalism, an ostensibly serious newspaper has allowed two students of law to occupy its op-ed page to advocate adoption by the LGBTQ+ ‘community’ with the specious logic that such permission would have benefited many orphans and biologically challenged wannabe parents alike in times of Covid-19. It would address the issue of child trafficking too, the wishful columnists asserted. Now, libertarians who support the supposed traditionalist current regime in India never saw sense in the Victorian-era law that peeped into the bedrooms of people — straight, gay or anything in between — and judged them for having sex the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way. Amending that law might not have appeared on top of the Narendra Modi government’s list of priorities, but it finally decided not to object when the Supreme Court would read Section 377 down. The non-intervention by the state was, therefore, welcomed and even the ‘old school’ within the core support base of the dispensation did not raise a hue and cry. The apprehension expressed by some that this would open a Pandora’s box was dismissed as an anachronistic thought in this day and age. What was a hypothetical fear then has but now come true. A bunch of NGOs and even some students of law have begun raising the demand that LGBTQ+ be now given the right to be parents. One wonders why the section that had revolted against nature and even found the suggestion of being ‘unnatural’ repulsive now needs to emulate so many aspects of that very nature. They first imitated the roles of a husband and a wife that every heterosexual couple has. While one was wondering whether trying to copy what happens to a healthy woman normally — menstruating since puberty, seeing the cycle stop during pregnancy and resumption of the periods until menopause — would be their next attempt, the woke showed there was no limit to which they would push the boundaries of science, eventually coming up with constructs of gender identity that look as bewildering as the licence code of a newly bought Windows PC: LGBTQ… IACP… GNC… NB… GQ… GF… GN… MAAB… Do not wonder why there are no numerals in the series. Arts graduates have never quite been at home with anything mathematical. But while these fanciful imaginations do no harm to those not concerned, they now want something no sane society must accept. They would like to do the thing next best to procreation: adoption. They are pushing for the legality of the idea that a child would grow up with a woke worldview! Talking of rights, the fundamental premise of a free society must be that the right of an individual ceases where it infringes upon that of another. Has a baby acquired the age where he or she could give an informed and educated consent to what the impressionable mind would be subjected to? If not, is that not a violation of the little one’s human rights? Since ‘abnormal’ is a term the LGBTQ+ would take serious exception to, they must be asked, given a choice, how many adults would look back and wish they had been oriented into what may be statistically called minority sexuality when they were newborns or just a year or two old? As the numbers from such a survey would unlikely bolster the demand for legalising adoption by the LGBTQ+, what kind of a democracy is being envisaged by pushing all orphan children to a future they may not knowingly sign up for?
The starry-eyed liberals want India to scrap the policy that couples who are LGBTQ+ cannot adopt children. They have a problem with the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, and Adoption Regulations, 2017, the second of which provides that “no child shall be given in adoption to a couple unless they have at least two years of stable marital relationship”. Since the would-be practitioners of law have argued that this is depriving “also a child of their right to have the affection and love of parents”, they must be asked whether they have thought out the science of making a gay ‘mother’ — biologically a man — lactate as well. The Supreme Court, in the case of Lakshmi Kant Pandey versus Union of India, did not define what was meant by a “family” when it said, “Every child has a right to love and be loved and to grow up in an atmosphere of love and affection and of moral and material security and this is possible only if the child is brought up in a family.” But the columnists presumed the apex court must have included the LGBTQ+ gentry in its 1984 judgment. The obfuscatory article misses the point that the court was stressing the need for regulating inter-country adoption as protection against abuse, maltreatment or exploitation of children and to secure them healthy, decent family life. Besides, Articles 15(3), 24, and 39 of the Constitution of India regarding child welfare, the principles embodied in the UN Declaration on the Rights of the Child (1959) have been overlooked and Article 39(f) brought in to spin the verdict. How does a child grow in “a healthy manner and in conditions of freedom and dignity” if he or she is subjected to intrusive and derisive queries about his or her parents every day by peers in school and neighbours in the local playground? Citing the Directive Principles of State Policy, it cannot be argued that not allowing LGBTQ+ people to adopt has only one alternative that the baby be pushed into the middle of a Charles Dickens plot. When Article 4 talks of unavailable biological parents, why adoptions by heterosexual couples is a cumbersome legal process must be looked into, for there is no dearth of straight couples, one or both partners in which are infertile, who would give anything humanly possible to the new member of the family they bring from an orphanage. Further, whereas in the case of Indian Hotel & Restaurant Association & Anr versus The State of Maharashtra, it was held that the state could not thrust its own notion of morality on society, it would indeed amount to such thrust if the state were to kneel down to such advocacy, as “society” does not refer to the minuscule section that parades on thoroughfares on certain occasions in grotesque outfits, making obscene gestures, in the name of queer pride.
As for an ‘expert group’ meeting in Geneva in December 1978 to adopt a “draft declaration on social and legal principles relating to the protection and welfare of children with special reference of foster placement and adoption, nationally and internationally”, which held that when biological family care is unavailable, substitute family care should be considered (Article 4), that’s an issue with a confused society where the future of children is pushed to precariousness, as child rights bodies snatch babies from what the state perceives as over-indulgent parents. Such nation-states cannot guarantee a bright tomorrow to the young ones anyway, as the parents in those cultures, homo- or heterosexual, divorce at the drop of a hat. That is not a model India ought to adopt. A line must be drawn after the verdict in the Navtej Singh Johar versus Union of India case that decriminalised an act of consensual sexual intercourse between same-sex couples in 2018. Whether one penetrates vaginally or anally during intercourse is no headache of those not participating in the act, but the concern for the destinies we hand our children is very much a concern of the entire nation.