Three Grandpas, Two Moms, Two Dads

Adoption

In Michigan, where I live, same sex marriage is illegal. Regardless of how you feel about same sex marriage, I believe our approach should be about what’s best for the children. In my opinion, children benefit from stability, but children adopted by a same sex couple are deprived of that stability. Therefore, for the sake of the children, same sex couples should be allowed to marry.

The NPR station, Michigan Radio, recently posted a story on the plight of an adopted boy named Lucas. Lucas has two dads, however since their marriage is not recognized in Michigan, only one of them is legally his father.

“Although there’s a lot of talk in Lansing about making kids safe and secure, when it comes to gay and lesbian couples, politics and attitudes about sexual orientation end that conversation,” the author wrote.

Of course, there are many more children like Lucas in Michigan and other states were same sex marriage is banned.  As I wrote in a post introducing a new series “The Future of Adoption,” I believe there are four issues that affect the current state of adoption. Number three was, “What if adoptive parents and their friends and family (and society as a whole) were not afraid of those who are different? (older children, children of other races, same-sex couples).”

Clearly, the real solution to this problem is to dispel fear of same sex couples. But, I don’t think that’s going to happen soon enough. In the meantime, let’s appeal to people’s concern for children.

My stepfather has expressed reserve at being called “grandpa” by my children. According to him, my kids already have two grandfathers, and don’t need a third. I’ve told him, and Grandma G, that there is no such thing as too many grandpas. I think my kids will only benefit from having many people who love them, even if it’s not “traditional.” I think that all kids can benefit from a large group of people who love them, even if that includes two moms or two dads.

Michigan’s same sex marriage ban is written into the state constitution, making it much harder to repeal. But another couple with adopted children is challenging the ban in court. Let’s hope this case results in a positive change.

Keeping families together in Michigan

Adoption

Here’s a new update to Michigan’s ongoing quest to improve the state’s foster care system. As Michigan Radio recently reported, the state is piloting a new program designed to keep young children with their families and out of foster care. According to the report, DHS Director Maura Corrigan said: “Research confirms what most people instinctively know: All things being equal, the best place for children is in their own home with their own family. Under this federal waiver, the department will use funding to wrap around at-risk families with vital services- keeping children both at home and safe.”

I definitely think that children are better off with their first families, but it’s true that our family would not be what it is if this program had been in place in our county a few years ago. Our kids were both under five when they were placed in foster care, the exact age that this program targets. Naturally, I love my children and can’t imagine our life without them now. But would they be better off with their first family? It’s hard to know how things would be different and I try never to entertain “what if” scenarios because the fact is, things are the way they are and we can’t go back and change them.

At least other Michigan kids will have another chance with their first families in the future.

A foster care law suit in Michigan

Adoption

Michigan has done a lot to improve the state’s foster care system lately, but there are still problems. Michigan radio recently reported on a lawsuit that several parents have brought against the state’s Department of Human Services for failing to disclose that their adoptive children had special needs, which should have qualified them for federal aid. Apparently, these parents are struggling to pay the bills associated with their children’s treatment. Thankfully, we were given very accurate descriptions of our children’s histories and issues. Adoption is hard enough and I can’t imagine not having the support that we need.