The picture to the left is of a family, more specifically the Lofton-Croteau family. It is comprised of two fathers
and five siblings
of different ages, genders, bloodlines and races. It was forged of love, patience, understanding, and a deep sense of responsibility. The eldest three of the children in this family were born with HIV/AIDS in Florida, where they were basically discarded by their heterosexual birth parents and left to a horrible system of state government in Florida which is the only state with an outright ban on gay adoption. They were taken into the family as infants, having languished in hospitals in Florida until Mr. Lofton and Mr. Croteau took them home and made for them a family. The two youngest, also born HIV positive, were taken in by the family in Oregon, where they all currently reside. The foster parents ( Steve Lofton, 44, and Roger Croteau, 46) of these children (Frank, 14, Tracy, 14, Bert, 10, Wayne, 8, and Ernie, 5), decided that the babies needed to be taken care of by parents who could handle the demands and create a loving environment for them to live in - despite the odds stacked against them that these children may not even live for very much longer. A sixth child, Ginger
, died of AIDS complications in 1995 at the age of 6. All of the children were old enough to understand — and to be devastated.
Because the family cannot legally adopt these children as they are wards of the state of Florida and the couple is gay, Steve and Roger are regularly reminded that Florida's law banning gay adoption puts their family in jeopardy. Every few weeks, a letter comes from the state, giving an update on the status of finding another family to adopt Bert
. Because he no longer tests positive for HIV and is under the age of 14, Bert is deemed "adoptable." Steve and Roger are legally prohibited from adopting him because of Florida's ban. So the state continues its effort to find him another home, even though this is the only family he's ever known—even though, like all five of the kids, he's already home. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!
This prompted the involvement of the ACLU, on whose behalf a website has been created for the family called Let Him Stay.
A documentary on the family called We Are Dad
is currently airing on Showtime and is also available on Netflix
Apparently people like Katherine Harris
and Jeb Bush
think it is perfectly fine for caseworkers in the Florida Department of Children & Families
to totally lose track of the children they're supposed to be monitoring:
But allowing people who just HAPPEN to be gay yet are willing and able to create good homes for some of these children, that is not, nor should it be feasible under the state legislature. And for what, I ask?
The American Academy of Pediatrics
issued a policy statement supporting legal and legislative efforts to provide second-parent or co-parent adoptions to same-sex couples. The policy statement was published in Pediatrics, a peer-reviewed academic journal. It urged AAP members to "support the right of every child and family to the financial, psychological and legal security that results from having legally recognized parents who are committed to each other and the welfare of their children." The North American Council on Adoptable Children
issued policy statements saying that sexual orientation "is not a determinant of good parenting and further that banning same sex adoption is dangerous."
There are currently more than 500,000 children in the foster care system in the United States being deprived of stable homes and loving families. The number of children that require adoption in the U.S. is over 190,000. The fact of the matter is evidence does not exist that proves that a child raised by a gay parent is harmed or disadvantaged in any way. In fact, one study showed that the process a homosexual couple has to go through to get a child is so time consuming that it actually proves their desire for a child. Studies show that the care is no different between a homosexual couple and a heterosexual couple. The American Academy of Family Physicians
, the Child Welfare League of America
(also telling the appeals court that the ban hurts children who are waiting to be placed in adoptive homes), the National Association of Social Workers
, the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute
, and the American Psychological Association
all recognize that families headed by gays or lesbians can be run exactly the same as heterosexual headed families. Nearly a dozen former Florida state legislators who voted in favor of the ban in 1977 have since apologized for supporting it and publicly called for the ban to be repealed.
No research studies provide evidence that gay parenting hinders a child’s ability to grow psychologically. Gay parents can teach a child to have more tolerance for diversity and perhaps break down several of societies stereotypes against homosexuals. The only type of problem a child would possibly have to face is bullying by peers in school. Studies have not shown that children raised in a homosexual environment become homosexual themselves. Research does not provide evidence that homosexual couples raise children in a relatively unfit or unhealthy environment.
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