Social Problems Perspective Paper

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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This paper will be addressing the issue of LGBT+ adoption rights in America. LGBT+ adoption is the adoption of a child by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people. There are broadly three different forms of LGBT+ adoption: The first form is joint adoption by same-sex couples. This is currently legal in twenty-seven countries including all 50 states of the USA and it is the most common approach towards LGBT+ adoption. The second form is stepchild adoption, which is when one partner adopts the other’s biological child. Finally, the third approach is the adoption of a child by a single LGBT+ person.

There are two opposing sides to this social problem—side one is against LGBT+ adoption because of the likelihood that the adopted child will be subject to bullying and judgmental scrutiny from their peers due to their atypical family structure. Side two is in support of LGBT+ adoption. Not only does every person possess the right to start a family and be treated equally, but most importantly there is substantial data proving that children with same-sex parents progress just as successfully as children with heterosexual parents.

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Side 1:

From the perspective of Side 1, same-sex couples should not be given the privilege of adopting children because most people in our society are not accepting of things that are out of the norm. The adopted child will be the center of insensitive comments, bullying, and teasing from their peers solely because the same-sex couple was allowed to adopt him or her.

Concepts from the functionalist and conflict-theorist perspective can be used to further validate Side 1’s argument. According to Lecture 3, the functionalist perspective compares society to a working/broken machine (Ridnor). In this case, through the functionalist perspective, our society is a machine built from complex webs of interrelated relationships, which start with the families that make up our communities. When same-sex couples start a family through the adoption of a child, our culture’s stigma against homosexuality creates a damaging rift in the harmony of our societal system, thus the “machine” becomes dysfunctional (Ridnor, Lecture 3). In Social Problems by John Macionis, it is stated that heterosexuality is the current cultural norm of our country—consequently, homosexual people are pushed to the margins of society (Macionis, 184). Same-sex couples endure hardships due to their sexual orientation, and these struggles end up affecting their children as well. Homosexuality is viewed as a separate social problem in itself because it clashes with the majority’s moralities and this outlook is the reason LGBT+ people face prejudice and discrimination to this day (Macionis, 184).

The conflict-theorist perspective further reasons that if adoption rights are granted to the LGBT+ community, children of heterosexual couples will become the “haves” of our society, whereas children of same-sex couples become the “have-nots” (Ridnor, Lecture 3). Side 1 reasons that when same-sex couples adopt children, those children forcibly become the “have-nots” of society because they are deprived of either a mother or father figure in their lives. Children of heterosexual parents do not face being teased for their parents’ sexual orientation since heterosexuality is society’s standard. These children thrive through healthy friendships and memories during their childhood; thus they have a high chance of personal success and mental health stability in their future. On the other hand, children with same-sex parents are denied their right to experience a normal childhood due to scrutiny from their peers and even their peers’ parents, which leads to a lack of self-esteem and questionable self-identity in their futures.

Side 1 believes that a same-sex couple adopting a child is unfair because the child does not get a choice to live a normal childhood with traditional parent figures. Through this perspective, LGBT+ adoption rights should not be allowed because of the inevitable bullying an adopted child of a same-sex couple will endure.

Side 2:

From the perspective of Side 2, LGBT+ adoption should be allowed because every person has the basic human right to start a family. Side 1’s argument that children of same-sex couples facing higher rates of misfortunes because of their parents’ sexual orientation is refuted by abundant research indicating that this is not true.

From the functionalist perspective, authorizing LGBT+ adoption rights creates an orderly flow of our society’s mechanical parts. According to Macionis, “because families are good for people and good for society, we should encourage families for everyone, whether straight or gay” (187). Full inclusion of the LGBT+ community in adoption rights leads to our societal machine functioning more smoothly by accepting all different forms of family structures and roles—thus, increasing happiness, fairness, and open-mindedness in our society. Eventually, order is brought unto the machine because each person in our society gains equal rights and treatment regarding adoption.

In support of Side 2’s angle, through the conflict-theorist perspective, it is evident that if the LGBT+ community is granted adoption rights, both same-sex couples and heterosexual couples will achieve equal rights and opportunities. Rather than denying a basic human right to one group of people, which would cause an imbalance in our society, regarding both same-sex and straight couples without discrimination leads to equality for all potential parents and their future children.

Side 2 believes that allowing same-sex couples to adopt a child is a human right, not a privilege only granted to heterosexual couples. This perspective is supported by applying research which states that homosexuality is biologically rooted (Macionis, 185). The sexual orientation of children’s parents does not dictate how effectively or ineffectively a child is raised, and therefore adoption rights must be granted to all people.

Personal Opinion

Personally, I support Side 2 on the issue regarding LGBT+ adoption rights. Briefly reiterating points made by Side 2, I concur that being able to start a family should be considered a basic human right for all people regardless of their sexual orientation. Also, it is important to take into consideration the current statistics we have on children who have been raised by same-sex couples, for those statistics point out no differences in effective parenting between same-sex couples and heterosexual couples.
I believe that the majority of our country’s values and morals have been founded upon outdated, Anglo-Saxon beliefs and therefore, they should be reevaluated to include the well-being of all people in our country. I also think that the government should stand apart from the church, thus religious arguments about homosexuality should be reviewed with objectivity.

Works Cited

  1. Macionis, John J. Social Problems. Pearson Education, 2011.
  2. Ridnor, Rachel. “Lectures 3 and 4 Theoretical Perspectives and Research Methods.” Canvas, 2019,
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Social Problems Perspective Paper. (2021, Apr 26). Retrieved from