Victims of Uruguay Adoption Law: the Children

Interview With President of Montevideo Institute of Bioethics

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By Carmen Elena Villa

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay, SEPT. 21, 2009 ( This month, after having legalized the union of same-sex couples in 2007, Uruguay became the first Latin American country to allow homosexual couples to adopt.
The law, which polls show is rejected by the great majority of Uruguayans, is an offense to human nature, according to Uruguayan lawyer Gustavo Ordoqui Castilla.
ZENIT spoke with Ordoqui, who is the president of the John Paul II Archdiocesan Institute of Bioethics of Montevideo, about his reactions to the law and its consequences for the children.
ZENIT: How has Uruguayan society reacted to this measure?
Ordoqui: With great concern, for several reasons. In the first place, because Parliament's decision is in no way representative of the opinion of the great majority of the people.
In the second place, because it is clear that the "higher interest of the child" has not been prioritized. We have committed ourselves to this [higher interest] in treaties, international meetings, etc., but then it's all been forgotten and the interest of a few has been prioritized. The gravity of this is that the ones who are notoriously harmed here are minors, the most defenseless, who end up being "instrumentalized or reified" to benefit a few.
ZENIT: Has civil society protested the law?
Ordoqui: All the surveys carried out -- and there were several -- showed that only 20% of the people were in agreement with the plan. Despite this, the parliamentary majority, not representing the will of the nation, was influenced by some minorities that also act against the Church, and they succeeded in controlling the topic within their party, obtaining the vote of the majority.
ZENIT: When this law has been in force for several years, what do you believe will be the consequences for the growth of the children who are adopted by homosexuals?
Ordoqui: This is not a topic of doctors, lawyers or religion but of human nature. Just as every child has a need to eat and to be educated, so does he need the reference to his father or mother, as something necessary for his own being. If we allow this not to happen or we cause it, we are attacking his own nature and this is very serious.
ZENIT: What confusion could this measure entail for children of heterosexual couples, to know that their friends come from such families?
Ordoqui: The dangers here have been proven and they are very grave. Coexistence between children from homes where there are "two mothers" or "two fathers" is naturally resisted by their friends, and all this results in even greater harm for [those who are adopted by homosexual couples].
ZENIT: Yet the supporters of this law call their opponents "homophobes" or guilty of discrimination.
Ordoqui: There is no discrimination here, since to discriminate is "to treat the unequal equally or the equal unequally."
Homosexuals themselves have set themselves apart in closing themselves naturally to life. They cannot then complain when they are told that they are not in conditions to be able to adopt a child.
There is no discrimination when the distinction is justified.
For example, I cannot say that I am discriminated against because I cannot act as a policeman if I'm not even prepared for it. When I am told that I cannot be a policeman, I am not discriminated against, because this is justified.
ZENIT: Why do you think Uruguay has been the "pioneer" country in Latin America in accepting this law?
Ordoqui: We are governed by a Socialist system that has been characterized by approving laws that attack the dignity of the person and the family.