BU Today

In the World

Professor of Social Work talks with Chronicle about gay adoption

Mark Gianino, of SSW, appears tonight on Chronicle to discuss effects of the adoption process on gay parents.

Mark Gianino

Mark Gianino, (SSW’83) a clinical assistant professor of clinical practice at the School of Social work, will be a guest tonight on WCVB Channel 5’s Chronicle to discuss the social development of children adopted by same-sex couples.

Gianino, himself an adoptive parent in a same-sex relationship, performs qualitative research examining the transition to adoptive parenthood that gay male couples undergo, and other aspects of life within families constituted of same-sex couples, individuals, and children.

“My study examined the experiences of these couples in their pursuit of adoption, the challenges they faced, and how they coped with these challenges.”

Gianino spoke last week at a press conference held by the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers to discuss research showing that the social development of children adopted by gay or lesbian couples is no different than that of children adopted by heterosexual couples.

The press conference was held shortly before Catholic Charities announced last Friday that it will no longer facilitate adoptions because the state would require the agency to consider same-sex couples as adoptive parents.

Catholic Charities has been placing children in adoptive homes for more than 100 years. Of the 720 children whom Catholic Charities placed in adoptive homes in the past 20 years, 13 of them were placed by that agency with gay or lesbian parents, says Gianino.

“This [decision] does a great disservice to children,” he says. “There are children who need homes and there are not enough homes to arbitrarily eliminate one class of people based on sexual orientation. It’s not a gay rights issue. It’s a child welfare issue.”