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).
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):
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.
Agency Worker from Giant St*rb*cks-Like Adoption Agency
Where do I start? Naah, you can do it better. Have at it, gang.