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Skott and Steve and Baby Makes Three
Shouldn't every child be given the right to grow up in a home with a loving parent? With tens of thousands of children awaiting adoption in the United States alone, this is an issue of critical importance.
For decades, gay men and lesbian women have been deemed unqualified to adopt children. But more recently, as our society has progressed on the issue of human rights, so too has the attitude about the fitness of gay men and women, as individuals or as couples, to raise children progressed. This new attitude is backed by decades of scientific research that demonstrate that their fitness to raise children is equivalent to that of heterosexual parents.
Last week, while reading an article on a right-wing website advocating the teaching of abstinence-only “sexual education” as a means to resolve the issue of unplanned pregnancy, we noticed an intriguing ad at the footer of the article that consisted simply of an image of two smiling men. Clicking on the ad led to a website for Skott and Steve, a married gay couple from Upstate New York, who are on a quest to adopt a child from an expectant mother in search of adoptive parents for her child.
Skott is a college professor, and his husband, Steve, is an elementary school counselor. They are eager to adopt and raise a child and they have a strong and stable family (and community) supporting them.
One of the intial steps in the adoption process for this couple was to create a website, a requirement most adoption agencies place upon adoptive parents. They took the extra step of placing a Google advertisement in order to cast a “wider net” in their search.
For Skott and Steve, this was a somewhat daunting initial step. “We felt very vulnerable putting our life out there in public,” Skott said, “but the prospect of being able to find a child in need of a home made it that much easier to deal with the nerve-racking nature of putting ourselves out there so publicly [but] it was easier having known that some of our friends have been through the same process.”
The couple is still in the early stages of their search, only having been at it for a few months. “We’ve received some phone calls that we’ve thought were very promising. We’ve also received some suspicious phone calls, including one call from a woman threatening to end her pregnancy unless we called her back immediately,” Scott said. Having experienced other questionable calls, the couple remains cautiously hopeful of every call and email they receive until they’ve fully explored the prospect. And they maintain no illusions that finding a child to adopt will be easy.
“We understand that this may be a 2 year pursuit,” Skott expressed. “With every disappointing phone call, we remain hopeful that we will receive the one phone call that we’ve been waiting for.”
Throughout their pursuit, Steve and Skott are trying to keep their emotions in check. “There are so many things that have to happen. If we get excited by every possibility, it will demotivate us. So, we don’t bank on anything until we have more information. But, we are hopeful and we know that it’s not a matter of if it will happen; it’s a matter of when. We know many successful couples who have adopted.”
Skott’s parents included.
“My sister was adopted when I was a little boy and I remember being a 5-year-old boy with a big grin on my face waiting for my new baby sister to come off the plane.”
Their enthusiasm for adopting a child, and the love they share for one another, is immediately apparent when speaking with the couple, who have been together for 7 years and who have married twice. “We got married first in Vermont, and though our marriage was legal in New York, after what happened in California, [and the legal uncertainty brought upon married gay couples by Proposition 8,] we wanted to ensure that our legal rights were protected, so we thought it was important to get married again within the state of New York after the state legalized same-sex marriage.”
The love and commitment the couple enjoy in their relationship is in no small part inspired by both sets of their parents, both having been together for over 40 years and who have expressed that they are “thrilled” that the couple will be delivering the first grandchild to the family.
“We have a large network of supportive friends and family. We feel very fortunate to have the full support of both of our families as we build our life together and raise children.” The spirit of love and acceptance also carries forward in the daily work lives of the couple as their respective co-workers “respect and support our decision to raise a family of our own.”
Indeed, it is more like a community effort in this couple’s quest for a child.
“Our friends and co-workers are very excited and they’ve spread the word and are helping us as much as possible. We are very open about it in order to aid in our chances of success. We have business cards and we share them as much as possible.” In fact, “we were at the doctor for the medical checkup required by the adoption agency and the nurse said ‘it’s great what you are doing, I was adopted’ and she took our card and said she would help.”
With their family and community backing them, the couple is seeking to adopt a child that is under two years of age, and they wish to stress, “we are open to any race of child. What is important to us is providing a loving home for a child who needs us.”
In theshared spirit of being blessed with an open and loving family, the couple expressed their willingness to maintain an open adoption with the birth mother. “If the birth mother wishes to maintain a relationship with her child,” the couple said, “we want to encourage that. We think it’s important for our child to know where they came from. Not just for medical reasons like allergies or disease, but also to satisfy the child’s curiosity when they get older and want to know where they came from.”
With such an open approach, paired with a family and community supporting their quest, the likelihood of the couple finding a child to adopt seems high. But, they both maintain a measured, yet positive, outlook. “Our biggest lesson so far is to stay hopeful,” Skott said. “The best thing we can hope for is that a mother thinking about adoption will think that we are the right couple for her baby.”
As Skott and Steve start down their path toward parenthood, theirs is a story that demonstrates the advancement of human rights for the gay and lesbian community, and that also advances the right of every child to grow up with a loving family.
If the model of acceptance and love represented within their family and within their community were to be included in those corners of the country (and the world) where the human rights of the child and the adoptive parents are both respected and celebrated, we would surely see a massive reduction in the excessive number of children waiting for loving homes.
In this spirit, we wish Skott and Steve all the luck in the world in their pursuit. We will be following their story over the coming months and promise to keep you informed about their quest.
If you’d like to learn more about Skott and Steve, or if you might be able to help them adopt a child, please visit their website at http://www.skottandsteveadopt.com.
You may also vist their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/skottandsteveadopt