A Rejoinder to Huckabee on Gay Adoption

parents would allow an attack on their kids to go unanswered,
particularly if that attack was made very publicly by a TV news
anchor.  Last week FOX News host Mike Huckabee compared my two
boys to puppies in an interview with College of New Jersey news

first focus on the broader issue of gay adoption with which the
former Arkansas governor takes issue. “We should act in the best
interest of the children, not in the seeming interest of the
adults,” Huckabee told the magazine. “Children are not puppies.
This is not a time to see if we can experiment and find out, how
does this work?”

to all who know me and our family, I have two pleasant,
well-adjusted children and I’m proud of the parenting my spouse
and I provide.  But don’t listen to me. Listen to the child
welfare community, including the American Academy of Pediatrics,
American Medical Association, American Psychological Association,
Child Welfare League of America and the National Adoption Center,
that say gay and lesbian couples or unmarried LGBT individuals are
qualified to be adoptive or foster parents. Thirty years of
scientific research shows that children raised by responsible gay
and lesbian parents are just as well adjusted and have the same
advantages in life as children raised in homes with different-sex

parenting is already going on, with great success. The sky has not
fallen. Approximately 1 million LGBT parents are already raising
children in the U.S. According to the 2000 Census, an estimated 27
percent of same-sex couples have at least one

governor and myself and anyone else who has strong feelings on the
matter– should be listening to what child welfare experts say;
they above anyone else have a child’s best interest in mind.
Other than saying “NO!” to gay adoption, what is Mr.
Huckabee’s solution to getting these kids out of state-run
facilities and into loving, permanent

As for
the jaw-dropping puppy analogy, I wonder if the former Arkansas
governor even realizes, or cares about, the impact of his words on
my eight-year old boys and all the other wonderful children being
raised by LGBT parents. Surely such a public figure can choose his
rhetoric more carefully. He can say whatever he wants about me–
but not about my kids.

A more
constructive way to debate these issues is for the governor to have
me on his FOX News show to really talk– parent to parent. We could
civilly discuss the pros and cons of the Every Child Deserves a
Family Act (ECDF), which limits federal funding to states, like his
home state of Arkansas, that restrict adoption and foster care
placements based the prospective parents’ sexual orientation,
gender identity or marital status. Democrats and Republicans should
sign on to ECDF because making sure kids have good homes is not a
liberal or conservative issue.   It’s a family

I would
hope the governor and I could discuss the draconian adoption
restrictions in Arkansas and Florida.  Governor, what say you? As
parents, can we talk about this issue without you calling my
children animals?

It is a
travesty that 25,000 youth “age out” of the foster care system
because there were not enough qualified parents. We—the straight
and gay community—must do something about this and stop looking
the other way.