This paper uses various theories to determine whether it is ethical or unethical for the same sex couple to adopt a child. The theories applied in this case include na?ve-, role-, social group- and cultural-relativism alongside utilitarianism. Each theory is discussed and applied to the case in terms of both ethical and unethical side and then a decision as to whether it is ethical or unethical is reached based on the discussion. It is my view that the refusal by the unit manager not to allow the same sex couples to adopt is ethical.
Cultural Relativism theory hinges the belief that morality remains relative to a specific culture, community or society. Individuals need to understand the societal practices, but never judge them. Applying this theory to the current case, it is ethical for the couple to apply for adoption and be accepted because their same sex orientation culture has been societal or culture-based. Thus, it would be quite wrong for the unit manager to reject them just because they are same sex couple. However, it can still be argued that it would be unethical if the manager allows the same sex couple to adopt because some culture, community or society reject the same sex orientation practices and the manager could be from such a community.
Na?ve Relativism theory is anchored on the belief that each moral decision is deeply personal and that people have right to run their individual lives. Every individual need to be allowed to interpret scenarios and act on her/his individual moral values. According to this theory, we can hence say that both the same sex couple and the agency managers are right in their own decisions (Weidinger, Fischler & Schmidpeter, 2013). For example, the couple should be allowed to run their own lives as same sex and hence should never be rejected when they decide to adopt a child. However, it is the same theory that makes it ethical for the agency manager to refute by being allowed to interpret the situation and act on his or her own moral values.
Role Relativism theory is anchored own the belief that social roles are accompanied by some obligations to that role. For example, a manager in charge of the work unit has to put aside his or her personal beliefs and do rather what the role dictates, that is, act in the best interest of the unit. According to this theory, therefore, it would remain both ethical and unethical to refuse and reject the application of the couple. For example, the main interest of the unit is to accept the application if they will serve the best interest of the children adopted. Therefore, because the couple have met the basic requirement for providing all the child need, this theory dictates that the manager should grant their application and have them adopt the child without using his or her personal beliefs to reject the application (Weidinger, Fischler & Schmidpeter, 2013).
However, at the same time, we can argue that it would be unethical if the same sex couple is allowed to adopt the child as this will really not be in the best interest of the child. This is because where the manager allows the application, the likelihood that the child will also turn to be a same sex couple would be high as he will imitate what his parents will be doing. Therefore, despite the fact that the theory dictate the manager to relinquish his personal belief, there is also an important aspect of this theory that would be unmet if he were to accept the adoption application. This is because it would not be acting in the best interest of the agency where a child is given to same sex couple who would then turn the child to a same sex orientation as well.
Social Group Relativism theory is founded on the belief that morality remains simply a matter of following norms of the peer group of the individuals. To apply this to the case, we would, therefore, not reject the couple just because they followed the norms of their peer group and became same sex s. Based on this argument, it would not be unethical if the couple were allowed the adoption by the manager. However, it is the same theory that can be used to justify the refusal by the manager. It can be argued that the manager is acting morally by also following the norms of his or her peer group who might have acted in the same manner when faced with such an ethical dilemma. Thus, by refusing to accept this application, the manger is right in his own way just by following his or her peer group’s norms.
Utilitarianism theory is based on the idea of social happiness as opposed to individual happens is favored. Thus when applying it to this case, it can be argued that it accepting the adoption applicants, would not serve the social good but only the same sex couple hence unethical. Thus the unit manager will have acted ethically by refusing their application since if it is accepted then the adverse effect would be that the child becomes a same sex oriented and this might be imitated across the society leading to immorality.
From my evaluation, the child stands to be harmed both emotionally and mentally by living with same sex couple. This is because the unit will have limited measures to child’s safety and happiness. The only measure that the agency may have is when they check from time to time how the child is being cared for. However, they cannot determine the kinds of style the couple want their child to assume (Weidinger, Fischler & Schmidpeter, 2013). From the discussion, the adoption manager is right in his personal belief to reject the adoption and hence in my view it would be ethical for the adoption manager to refuse them due to his or her individual belief as guaranteed for by na?ve relativism theory.
Weidinger, C., Fischler, F., & Schmidpeter, R. (2013). Sustainable entrepreneurship. Business Success through Sustainability: 258ff.