call to action against adoption.com because it refused to post
adoption profiles for same sex couples. By mid-June, several
families had submitted their personal stories to the adoption
website, and our Executive Director, Jennifer Chrisler, penned
this letter to the owners.
The court ruled that if adoption.com wants to do business in
California, it must allow same-sex couples to post profiles on the
site. As a result, the owners of adoption.com, Nathan and Dale
Gwilliam, stood up against equality and refused to do business with
California. It’s a shocking twist that has left many Californians –
LGBTQ and not – very upset. It’s a shame that Californians won’t
have access to the many resources that the site offers.
A national gay and lesbian advocacy agency has launched
a campaign to persuade one of the country’s leading adoption Web
sites based in Gilbert to allow people of all sexual orientations
looking to adopt to post profiles on the site.
Family Pride, based in Washington, D.C., launched the campaign in
late May in response to a settlement reached earlier that same
The settlement stems from an anti-discrimination suit filed by a
California male couple against Gilbert-based Adoption Profiles LLC,
after the company refused to post the couple’s profile on its Web
site, www.ParentProfiles .com, for birth parents to see.
Jennifer Chrisler, executive director of Family Pride – which
focuses on equal rights for families headed by lesbian, gay,
bisexual or transgender parents – said her organization’s call to
action encouraged same-sex couples to send letters and photos of
their families to the Gilbert business. At least 50 families, she
said, have responded to date.
Attorneys from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe and the National
Center for Lesbian Rights, who acted as co-counsel for domestic
partners Michael and Rich Butler, asserted that the adoption
business violated the Butlers’ rights under California
anti-discrimination law, which protects against discrimination on
the basis of sexual orientation, marital status and gender.
The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-Christian legal organization,
defended the company and its owners, Nathan and Dale Gwilliam, who
were named in the suit. The Gwilliams’ attorneys held that the
Butlers’ rights were not violated because the business operates
under Arizona law, which does not prohibit discrimination against
people on the basis of marital status or sexual orientation.
The settlement, reached on May 22, prohibits Adoption Profiles from
posting profiles of California residents on its Web site “unless
the service is made equally available to all California residents
qualified to adopt in California.”
Neel Chaterjee, an attorney who represented the Butlers for free,
said that the couple were pleased with the settlement because it
requires all California residents be treated equally. He added that
the settlement did not include a financial payout for the Butlers
because they were not seeking money.
Calls to Adoption Profiles representatives and attorneys were not
In response to the settlement, the Alliance Defense Fund announced
May 22 that Adoption Profiles “will no longer accept profiles from
California residents. . . . Californians are poorer for this
attempt to misapply the non-discrimination laws of California to
the Internet business of an Arizona company.”
Chrisler of Family Pride said that the company’s decision is
upsetting because it bars thousands of parents looking to adopt
from using on one of the largest adoption Web sites in the
The decision also has upset some Valley residents who have placed a
child up for adoption.
Kym Hager, 34, of Surprise, said she chose a lesbian couple to
adopt her daughter 11 years ago and has no regrets. Hager said she
is furious that the Web site does not market itself as an adoption
business that only accepts heterosexual married