Cline says, "Those who oppose gay marriage do so with a vehemence:
it's not simply that they would rather not see it exist, but rather
that they regard gay marriage as perhaps the greatest moral and
social evil to occur since the legalization of abortion. They cannot
be dismissed as mere cranks - it is important to understand what
their arguments are in order to determine how good their case is and
to refute it if their position is unsound."
Gay Adoption Basics
Where is Gay Adoption Legal?
Facts on Gay Adoption
Alabama Court Case: Lesbian
Couple Seeks to Adopt
A Mobile woman raising a baby boy with the child's mother wants to adopt
him as a second parent, a legal step of significance in a state that
just passed a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages.
partner, Kim McKeand, gave birth to the baby boy in December 2005 with the
aid of a donor. Searcy then sought to become the adoptive parent of the
child, who bears her last name. Adoption would give Searcy rights to
make medical decisions for the child as well as securing the sense of
family in their home.
But Searcy's application was denied in probate court May 3,
2006. McKeand said
the judge ruled against adoption because Alabama does not recognize
same-sex marriages. She said their case is now going to the Alabama
Court of Civil Appeals.
Pictured here are Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand
with Khaya Ray Searcy in Mobile in 2006
"We're going to do whatever we can to get it passed here," Searcy said.
"It is discouraging when we think about the current environment against
gays in our state, but I have to believe that somewhere in our court
system there are still fair-minded judges." McKeand, 28, and Searcy, 30, who met at college in Texas and moved to
Mobile five years ago, have real concerns about the medical care of the
baby, Khaya Ray Searcy. The child was born with a hole in his heart and
the first weeks were difficult.
"He had to have open heart
surgery in Atlanta and we ran into some issues with my not being a legal
parent," Searcy said. "It was really hard." McKeand said she had to
learn how to insert a feeding tube in Khaya's nose before they could
bring him home from the hospital. Because she didn't feel comfortable
doing the procedure, Searcy volunteered to learn.
But the nurses would not
"They said, 'No, you're not the parent, Kim is,' " McKeand said.
"Finally it took our doctor — the cardiologist — to step in and say it
Khaya now has a clean bill
of health, but the couple has not forgotten the experience. "That's what really pushed me to get this second parent adoption," said
Pictured here are Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand
with Khaya Ray Searcy in Mobile in 2010
The legal resolution of
the court case might have a wide impact — according to 2000 census data,
there are gay families in every county in the state. And the issue is
not confined to Alabama. "It's happening all over the country," said Adam Pertman, executive
director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute.
"It's happening because the agencies responsible for those kids have
decided that the gay and lesbian population is one worth placing kids."
The New York-based
institute, which is not affiliated with any gay rights organizations,
released a report in March that found there is no child-centered reason
to prevent gays and lesbians from becoming adoptive parents. "Research shows gay and lesbian parents provide good homes," Pertman
Support for children...
He said the community
should support the children no matter what kind of family they grow up
in. "Bringing our views or prejudices on the kids is not productive," he
said. "The community should support a system that places kids in
permanent, safe and loving homes. We have to support that for the sake
of the kids."
The American Academy of
Pediatrics supports legislation and legal efforts to provide
second-parent adoptions by same-sex parents. The Alabama chapter of the
academy believes all children benefit from being raised by caregivers
who are constant, dependable, loving and dedicated to children's safety. According to an article in the July edition of Pediatrics, in early 2006
efforts were under way in at least 16 states including Alabama to
introduce constitutional amendments prohibiting gay and lesbian
individuals and couples from adopting children or being foster parents.
"Same-sex parenting is a controversial issue in our country," Linda Lee,
executive director of the Alabama chapter, said. "Our main concern is
that children, regardless of the circumstances in which they live,
receive the best of care."
Two parents better...
Jonathan Klein, associate
professor of pediatrics at the University of Rochester in New York,
contributed to the July article and is the chair of the AAP Committee on
Adolescence. "I think evidence on the developmental outcome of children shows that,
overall, two parents are probably better than one," Klein said.
He also said that parents
with established legal custody have a variety of benefits that isn't
always available to same-sex couples even if they're playing that role
in a child's life. "I think if parents are not able to be involved in all aspects of their
communities because of a community's attitudes, that potentially damages
families," Klein said.
Searcy and McKeand talked about being parents, but it wasn't until about
a year ago that they felt it was the right time. "We found a donor who is a
really good friend of ours and he signed over all his rights," Searcy
They enjoy a measure of acceptance in Mobile. Searcy works for a video
production company and McKeand works for a broadcaster that provides
domestic partner health benefits covering them both. "Our home is a normal
one," said Searcy. "It's filled with love, commitment and support. Our sexual orientation
is just a small part of who we are. Kim and I are dedicated to giving
Khaya the best life possible and we're going to do what it takes to do
Thomas / Associated Press Writer)
Decatur Daily Article 1
Decatur Daily Article 2
CBS News Article
On Line Athens Article
LGBT Parenting and Adoption
APA Report: Gay & Lesbian
Parenting Info for
Gays & Lesbians
Colage: Children of
Lesbians And Gays
Gay Adoption Legal?
New Take on the
Gay Adoption Battle
FindLaw: Same Sex
By Same Sex Couples
Gay Adoption Stats
Love & Pride
Families Like Ours
Families Like Mine