Child Custody And Homosexuality. Ethics In Psychology/Counseling Or Dealing With Children.

2630 words - 11 pages

On a cold, foggy morning I stepped out onto the porch. A faint scent of the sea waved through the brisk dawn air. My tired eyes passed over an old toy wagon lying out on the front lawn. While most of our neighbors took shelter in the warmth of their homes, I eagerly awaited the trip to my grandmother's house. My family loaded into the station wagon to drive north. My family consisted of my mother, my father and my four brothers and sisters. To this day, when I visualize a family, I see a family much like my own; a mom, a dad and one or more children. But today, families come in all varieties. The family configuration is changing.Introducing Carol, Dave and IsaacI had been seeing a client named Carol for 3 months. She began meeting with me because her husband, Dave, had stopped being affectionate to her. He had grown indifferent and would often isolate himself from Carol. Not to my surprise, Dave asked Carol for a divorce. Soon after their divorce Carol learns the reason Dave had become so distant. It turned out that Dave had a psychological warfare going on inside him. From an early age Dave had conflicting emotions as to his sexuality and would often find himself attracted to persons of the same sex. One day he found the right man to give him the emotional support to leave his wife and Dave moved in with him.Carol and Dave are parents of a one-year-old son, Isaac. Carol and Dave now lived separate and distant from each other. He wanted Carol to give him overnight visitations with his son. Dave felt that his being gay should not be an issue and that he was being excluded from raising Isaac. Dave had planned to bring a custody action suit against Carol. Dave was now living with a male partner and wanted to reestablish his relationship with his son.Carol gave Dave frequent visitation but felt her son should not be with his father at night. She did not want her son to be exposed to a homosexual lifestyle, primarily the sleeping arrangement. Carol wasn't a deeply religious person, but she did feel homosexuality was profoundly wrong. Carol would often ask me how I felt about homosexuality and would try to get me to take her side. Carol felt keeping her son with her at night was one of the healthiest things she could do for their child, physically and emotionally. Carol had just begun weaning her son from breastfeeding and had always been the major caretaker of Isaac.My Ethical ConflictCarol came to me and asked me to be an expert witness on Isaac's behalf at the child custody hearing. I did not have a problem testifying the harm Isaac may sustain leaving his mother at night so soon after weaning him, I had handled such cases in the past. However, I did have a problem with testifying how I felt about a homosexual parent. I did not know how I felt about gay fathers raising their children, especially male sons. I did not feel I could ethically make a choice on a topic I knew so little about.Corey, Corey and Callanan (1998) suggests when a counselor is...

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