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Gay Adoption, page 2

It's a fairly recent phenomenon for gays to adopt children in Ohio--especially by openly gay people. The Director of Foster Care for Summit County Children Services, Sushi Moore says you wouldn't have seen that in the past...

Moore: Probably 20-30 years ago, just like foster care, you had to be married, you had to be a stay at home mom. In adoption, many years ago, to determine whether someone was too old to adopt or not, they took the husband's and the wife's age and added them together. As long as it didn't exceed 100, that was a good rule of thumb to determine that they were OK to adopt.

The legal door is open but adoption agencies or county adoption services don't always make it easy. Single women were accepted but single men looking to adopt had a more difficult time. Darren of Cuyahoga Falls was one such man. He worked with children at Akron Children's Medical Center and saw the need...

Darren: I knew too many kids who were in foster homes. In my particular job, I saw a lot of kids who died without a family. I saw kids who went through the shuffle of going through CSB [The Children's Services Board], who had grown up and became independent adults and yet these kids really didn't have a family. And so, I decided, "OK, fine, let's try it."

Social workers from the county asked Darren, who prefers his last name not be used, to adopt one infant boy who had sickle cell anemia. Darren began as his foster father...

Darren: The first three years he was coming to my house every weekend, on holidays, whenever I took off for vacation, I had him. So, we were bonded, as the agency would say. However, they didn't feel, well not all of them, just the supervisor, didn't feel that single people should adopt.

Darren went through a half dozen police checks. But he said it became apparent that the former director of children's services did not want a gay man adopting...

Darren: For me, I was a young black male. Some of the statements she made were uncalled for. Her statement towards men adopting, also, were very uncalled for. I was changing diapers at the hospital and I taught parents how to change diapers. I taught parents how to bathe their kids. And women are looking at me like, "How do you know all of this?" I have nieces and nephews, OK? It's not like I'm going into this blind.


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