Overdue

Because I’m lazy, this post is, as usual, cross-posted over at Lesbian Family dot Org.

Yesterday, the National Center for Lesbian Rights won a case they took on on behalf of the Butlers, a gay couple who had been denied the right to post their profiles on two different adoption sites (read specifics about their lawsuit against Adoption.com and ParentProfiles.com).

NCLR wrote:

As a result of yesterday’s settlement, Adoption.com and ParentProfiles.com agreed that they must either make their services available to all qualified prospective adoptive parents in California – regardless of their sexual orientation or marital status – or stop profiting from California consumers.

***

Well, it’s about time.

When NSG and I started out on the process to adopt our son, we made the mistake of looking at agencies on-line. We’re children of the 80’s: why wouldn’t we start with the internet? Turns out that a queer couple doing internet research on adoption is like going to Google med school in the middle of the night to look up why your throat is itching – by the time the sun comes up, you’ve not only convinced you’re dying of untreatable throat cancer, but you’ve already contacted 6 internet lawyers about drawing up a new will.

The profiles we saw, with few exceptions, were of couples who seemed to be straight, white, wealthy, church-going, and rich – with lovely lawns and beautiful golden retrievers. We were… well, white. We panicked.

In this vein, we started sending inquiries out at random to agencies that had any profiles posted of families who varied even just a little from the norm. We didn’t find any postings with queer couples in them, or even single people. What we wanted to know was: how would they handle our profile? Since we were planning on an open adoption, we needed to know that an agency would support us – not just tolerate us.

Here is my favorite response (and yes, I saved the email):

Dear Round:

Thanks for your inquiry. Yes, we are a very liberal agency and would be happy to work with you and your partner.

It is our policy that we would have you post your profile as a single woman looking to adopt. If a birthmom were to choose you to parent her child, we would of course encourage you to be honest with her about your sexual orientation and partnership status.

As you know, honesty is extremely important in an open adoption.

Best of luck to you, and please let me know how else I can be of assistance.

Sincerely,

Agency Worker from Giant St*rb*cks-Like Adoption Agency

***

Where do I start? Naah, you can do it better. Have at it, gang.

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3 Responses to Overdue

  1. shirky says:

    why not name names?
    don’t protect fuckers.
    expose!

  2. Sue says:

    My favorite reply to the same question was “We adopt to married couples and single people.” Period.

    I am actually surprised that they documented that they would encourage you to lie on a homestudy, then tell a “birthmom” (aka expectant mom) because honesty is soooo important.

    When we finally scored an agency that would work with us, they still had not let us know that they were cool. Out of sheer terror that we would be found out and lose the referral, we had to ASK and risk the loss of our referral. It took them two weeks to reply and then in the affirmative. Then they gave us the phone number of an L couple waiting for a child in the same group.

    Later we learned that the L couple had never come out to them and were adopting as “a single parent with enthusiastic roommate”. I had to tell them that they were out to the agency!

    (Also want to say, not naming the fuckers is not protecting them, it’s protecting you. Agencies can and do sue AP’s for dissing them online. They wouldn’t have a case against you since it’s all true, but they would have the ability to make your lives a lot more uncomfortable than you can ever make theirs.)

  3. Julie says:

    Did you know that there’s even something in the contract Adoption*com has their bloggers sign that says something about not promoting alternative lifestyles in your writing? A while back, I was offered one of their spots, but just couldn’t work with an organization that would put something like that in their contracts.

    I want to point out, by the way, that you and I were out in the adoption waiters pool at about the same time–and you got chosen first. Obviously, it’s not as if agencies would be losing out by accepting everyone qualified to parent–there’s a match for everyone out there.

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