Question by a lesbian devotee in a monogamous relationship who wants to have her own child: I want to raise my own child and not adopt. The only literature I have read on the topic of gay parenting is academic psychology articles and journals. I am a masters level student in clinical mental health counseling, and have done research and learned in my classes that when two parents of the same sex raise a child together there are no correlated sexual dysfunction issues or psychiatric issues. Oddly enough, in fact, a few studies that followed children of lesbian parents actually found that the children fared better than those that had straight parents. What is your opinion?
Answer by Srila Hridayananda das Goswami:
Here are a few thoughts:
The desire to bear one’s own child is natural. As far as possible, we try to transcend our human desires, but there are some human needs so deeply rooted in our hearts that ignoring them may cause more harm than good to our spiritual life. Prabhupada always taught us that Krishna consciousness is a gradual process and we often gradually transcend our human needs by engaging them in Krishna consciousness. So if you are dedicated to raising a Krishna conscious child, then you are spiritualizing your human need to raise a child.
ISKCON is a large, global society, and inevitably we find liberals, conservatives, moderates and everything in between. I sometimes say that ISKCON is simply “the world with Krishna.” So whatever our position may be on worldly issues, we must humbly accept that some devotees will disagree, and others will support us.
Your specific issue, raising a child within a lesbian household, is definitely not a fundamental Vedic issue and therefore the scriptures do not specifically address it. Precisely because it is an issue of detail, not basic principle, there will inevitably be different opinions about it. However the basic principle that guides us in such ambiguous or ambivalent areas is that we should do what is best for our own Krishna consciousness and for the Krishna consciousness of the world. So if you are confident that you will be a Krishna conscious mother and help an innocent soul on the path to Krishna, then I would personally support you on this.
With best wishes,
Hridayananda das Goswami