From the Trenches: Adopted Kids in Mexico Can Now Have Two Moms
“From the Trenches” is a battle cry. In a globalized world that criminalizes the rebellious in spirit, it’s easy to forget that change-minded activists and organizers are tallying up tiny victories against sociocultural and economic oppression on the regular. The column will serve as a weekly reminder that we not only can win, but we do, often. So hasta la victoria siempre and all that.
If we’ve ever spent any amount of time together IRL, especially if that time was spent over a few beers, chances are I’ve treated you to one of my many loud and impassioned rants against marriage. Maybe I’m just another bitter child of divorce, but that old-school marriage-as-a-life-goal-for-women thing is not my style.
I know what you’re thinking. “Nyki, it’s not 1991. Bikini Kill is over. Give it up.” And maybe you’d be right. Maybe a radical critique of marriage is like, so totally passé man. We the millennials are, after all, getting married at a rate that would have had our grandmothers hauling ass to the nearest convent to avoid the dreaded OML (old maid life). Maybe marriage is so uncool or being redefined in so many ways by so many rad people that it’s no longer worth shitting on.
Granted. Except that as far as LGBTQ issues go, same-sex marriage has quickly become the global battleground. As an ally who supports the struggle, marriage seemed like the wrong fight to pick. Because now that so many people (mostly in the West, and mostly white, middle-class-and-above people who have more access to marriage and its economic benefits across the sexuality board) are able to marry whomever they choose, it follows that they’ve also the Pandora’s box of marriage-related oppression: Want the state to regulate your love life? Need to institute more rigid gender roles in your home? Prefer to keep your relationship alive by strength of a contract rather than with old-fashioned effort? Well, have we breeder-sheep got the solution for you.
The situation is a little different in the Global South.
In Mexico, same-sex marriage is like, kind of legal, at least in theory, as of June. Now, piggybacking on that earlier victory, the country’s supreme court has effectively lifted a ban on same-sex adoption, a major victory in a country where LGBTQ individuals are routinely targeted by violence and repression (so by that logic, it would probably follow that they shouldn’t be contaminating children with their same-sex relationship voodoo).
Of course, the decision makes space for a new idea of what constitutes “family” in a culture that is skewed heavily toward the traditional.Which one the one hand, is kind of a bummer, because who needs more nuclear families? Baby steps. And I’m going to assume that we don’t need to engage that “gay/lesbian couples can make loving parents too,” aspect of this victory, because, duh. One of my college roommates had two moms, and he seemed pretty well-adjusted compared to the rest of us, with our cheating dads and approval-withholding moms.
More importantly, the court’s ruling creates greater opportunities for adoption (which yes, is also a problematic institution) for the thousands of Mexican kids dealing with homelessness who could potentially benefit from an adoptive family. El País reports:
During sessions held before the final vote, Supreme Court President Luis María Aguila defended the ruling, as well as the rights of homosexual couples, on the grounds of the child’s interest. “I don’t see any problem with a child being adopted by a common-law couple who wants it. What? Do we prefer to have kids on the street, the number of which, according to the statistics, is over 100,000? That just as severely [note: DAMN THIS GUY KNOWS HOW TO PLAY TO HIS AUDIENCE], or even more so, threatens the greater interests of the minor.”
Not a bad pit stop on the way to smashing patriarchy and its evil offspring, right?