Object of love

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MARTIN Conroy (Letters, 29 January) is living in a world of his own if he thinks that “two people of the same sex cannot be parents except in the reduced sense of emotional and educational roles”. In fact, they can be parents in every sense including the biological. It’s true that they can’t be biological co-parents, but I don’t hear of much fretting from children about their genetic origins.

It is Mr Conroy’s strictly biological definition of “parents” which is reductive. According to this definition, a couple who unintentionally produce and then abandon a baby would count as parents, but not an adoptive couple prepared to make many sacrifices for a child who offers no furtherance of their genes.

Whether “a child needs to know he is the product of the loving union of a man, his father, and a woman, his mother”, is irrelevant to the issue of adoption by same-sex couples, since the circumstances of a child’s ­origin are not altered by any kind of adoptive arrangement.

If it is a need, it is one that for many children can never be answered, but I get the impression that children are, sensibly, far more concerned with whether they receive love than whether they were produced by it.

It is received love that prevents a child being just a claimed object, and not the genders of the people providing the love.

Robert Canning

Secular Scotland

Broughton Street