Over the pas couple of decades American society has undergone some vast changes. The concept of the family has been greatly altered. No longer is such emphasis put on the "traditional" family. A majority of children are being raised in single parent households. Single parent adoption rights have been granted. Now an entirely new sort of family is being disputed. Should gays and lesbians be granted the right to adopt a child? Today's view of gays and lesbians is drastically differen t than it was in the past. As more people "come out of the closet" gays and lesbians are becoming more socially accepted. They currently are battling for equality in a variety of areas. In Hawaii gays and lesbians can be granted marriage righ ts, which was a huge victory until DOMA was passed. The Defense of Marriage Act, otherwise known as DOMA, was a bill proposed by conservative Congressmen and Senator Bob Dole. Dole says, "DOMA defines marriage as between one man and one woman for a ll federal purposes (taxes, Social Security, veterans' benefits, etc.) and says that states don't have to pay attention to the Constitution if they don't want to recognize same-sex marriages that are legal in any other state" (Winters 1). President Bill Clinton, who openly expresses his opposition to same-sex marriages, signed the bill making it a law. Gays and lesbians continue to fight. Recently the fights have been centered on adoption. This new dilemma has created quite a stir in society.
It is estimated that the number of children being raised by gay or lesbian parents is between 2 and 6 million. It is extremely hard to get an accurate estimation due to the fact that many gays and lesbias are not open about their family structure. These people do not want to be surveyed for fear of losing their children. In a population where roughly 10% or 25 million people are reported to be homosexual the numbers of those raising children are outstanding (Collum 1).
There are three main ways that gays and lesbians are raising children and acquiring families without the courts becoming involved. The first way, which is also the most common way, is when heterosexual marriages dissolve after one parent apparentl y "comes out.