ADOPTION

 

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Gay Adoption Stories
 

Steve & Trevor Plus Four Sons
Heidi & Karla Plus Twelve

Ricardo & Jesse Plus Four Sons
Denis & Hugo Plus One Infant

Mignon & Elaine Plus Two

 


Court Case: Adoption and Marriage

 

July 2013

 

A judge signaled on July 1 that a trial is possible to determine whether Michigan's ban on gay marriage is constitutional, nearly nine years after voters approved it by a wide margin.  U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by nurses Jayne Rowse and April DeBoer, who are challenging a law that bars them from adopting each other's children as well as a 2004 constitutional amendment that defines marriage only as between a man and a woman.

 

Friedman said the Detroit-area women, along with state of Michigan attorneys who are defending the laws, probably found something to like last week in a major U.S. Supreme Court decision, which could influence the outcome of the case.  The court struck down a portion of a federal law barring government benefits to same-sex couples who are allowed to legally marry in their respective states. But the justices also said states have the power to define marriage.  "This court cannot say that plaintiffs' claims for relief are without plausibility," Friedman said of Rowse and DeBoer. "Plaintiffs are entitled to their day in court and they shall have it."  He ordered all parties to court July 10 to discuss the future of the case and set a trial date.

Devin Schindler, a constitutional law expert at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids, said the judge still could make a ruling without a trial, after lawyers further develop the case through depositions, if necessary, in the weeks ahead.  The Michigan attorney general's office said it was disappointed that Friedman didn't dismiss the lawsuit but added: "We look forward to aggressively defending Michigan's constitution."  Carole Stanyar, an attorney for Rowse and DeBoer, said the case is moving forward.

 

LINK:

 

Michigan Adoption Case

 


LGBT Couples Adopting Children

Modern Family: Cameron & Mitchell Adopt a Baby (Lion King Moment)
Modern Family: Cameron & Mitchell Adopt a Baby (Bringing Home the Baby)
Facts on Gay Adoption
What They Aren't Telling You About Gay Adoption
YouTube Video: Gay Adoption
Child Adoption Matters: Same Sex Adoption
 


Alabama Bans Gay Adoptions

 

Gay Adoption Debate
 

On his website, under the title, Godless Liberalism, Austin Cline addresses Gay Rights, Gay Marriage, and Homophobia.  He provides a wealth of ethical and political essays, commentary, arguments, and internet links on these critical subjects.


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."

 

LINKS:

 

Gay Adoption Basics
Where is Gay Adoption Legal?
Facts on Gay Adoption
Essays And Commentary On Gay Rights, Gay Marriage, And More

 


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.

Cari Searcy's 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 teach her.


"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 was OK."

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 Searcy.

 

 

Pictured here are Cari Searcy and Kim McKeand with Khaya Ray Searcy in Mobile in 2010


Wide impact...

 

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 said.


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 said.


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 that."


(From Amanda Thomas / Associated Press Writer)

 

LINKS:

 

Associated Press Article
Decatur Daily Article 1
Decatur Daily Article 2
CBS News Article

Legal Out Article
On Line Athens Article

 


LGBT Parenting and Adoption Resources

 

We Are Family
Queer Theory: Parenting Resources
APA Report: Gay & Lesbian Parenting
Parenting Info for Gays & Lesbians
Colage: Children of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere
Gay Adoption Basics
Where is Gay Adoption Legal?
Facts on Gay Adoption
Essays And Commentary On Gay Rights, Gay Marriage, And More
Gay Adoption: New Take on the American Family
US News: Gay Adoption Battle
Same Sex Adoption Rights
FindLaw: Same Sex Parenting and Adoption
IDEA: Adoption By Same Sex Couples
USA Today: Gay Adoption Stats
Love & Pride
About: Gay Adoption Basics
Families Joined By Love
Family Equality
Families Like Ours
Families Like Mine
Wikipedia: LGBT Adoption

 

 


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ALGBTICAL

Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama