Thursday, January 27, 2011

We Are Dad

In journalism school, one of my required classes was aptly nicknamed "InfoHell." Each student was required to pick a topic, form a question, and answer it through writing 100 or more pages of research. My topic was Gay Adoption. That semester taught me more about civil rights, national and state politics, and the diversity of this country than any other experience in my life. The most controversial state that I learned about was Florida, made famous by the case of two fathers and pediatric AIDS nurses who attempted to adopt the HIV positive foster children who they had raised. Unable to legally adopt their son when he becomes HIV negative, dads Steven and Roger took Florida all the way to the Supreme Court, and eventually moved to Oregon to be the parents that they so rightly deserved to be.

On January 19, a remarkable moment in history took place. Martin Gill, who had raised two biological brothers as his foster children for six years, legally adopted his sons, an event that marked the end to the 33-year ban on gay adoption in Florida.

“We are thrilled that after so many years, we are officially a family in the eyes of the law,” said Gill. “All children deserve a permanent, loving home. This is a happy day.” 

In a country with close to half a million children in the foster care system, the fact that people are judged as parents due to their sexual orientation would be laughable if it weren't so sad. This month we witnessed a beautiful event, and I hope that in the years to come, all Americans will be granted rights to parent, to adopt, and to care for children based on their ability, their love, and their character.


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