Why gay parents are good parents

I want to share this
published on CNN.com last week with all the moms out
there who agree our child’s well being comes first–-and that
good parents come in many forms. No one family is better than any
other. Please re-post to Facebook, Tweet, or send to other moms
(and dads) if you like it. — Jenn

(CNN) — This month we celebrate Gay Pride. But I’d like to
suggest that we take this opportunity to celebrate gay parent

We should acknowledge that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
people do what every other American tries to do. They want to
pursue life, liberty, happiness, love and marry the person of their
choice, go to work without fear of being fired, have access to
health benefits and hospital visitation rights. And, like their
straight friends, they also want to create families.

There are 1 million lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents
raising about 2 million children in the U.S., according to figures
analyzed by UCLA’s Williams Institute. Good parents are good
parents, no matter their sexual orientation.

I am one half of a lesbian parenting team, and my twin 8-year-old
boys are excelling both in school and Little League. They just
finished reading the “Harry Potter” series and are obsessed
with Legos. They set and clear the dinner table and are beginning
to remember their manners (finally)! They’re happy and productive

But don’t believe me, a doting, biased mother. The Child Welfare
League of America, in the business of protecting children since
1920, has been unequivocal: “Any attempt to preclude or prevent
gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals or couples from parenting,
based solely on their sexual orientation, is not in the best
interest of children.”

The National Adoption Center, American Academy of Pediatrics and
the American Medical Association agree. Thirty years of research
says the same, including a new 17-year study published this month
in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of
Pediatrics, concluding that children raised by lesbian parents do
better academically, are more confident than their peers and have
fewer behavioral problems.

Yet critics still dismiss what child welfare experts say. The state
of Florida, which bans adoptions by gay people, believes Martin
Gill is an unfit parent. The state is refusing to allow Gill, who
is gay, to adopt the two brothers he has been loving as a foster
parent for more than five years.

(Florida’s ban has been kept in place since 1977 with the help of
testimony from now discredited and disgraced George Rekers, an
anti-gay rights activist who recently toured Europe with a male
escort and who has been the star witness for the small but vocal
group of anti-gay adoption activists. Florida testimony also
invoked the writings of Dr. Paul Cameron, another anti-gay adoption
“expert” whose credibility has been recently decimated: He was
dropped from the American Psychological Association for failing to
cooperate with an ethics investigation and censured by the American
Sociological Association, which condemned him for misrepresention
of sociological research.)

Foster children need loving parents and stable homes. Many of the
120,000 kids that the Department of Health and Human Services says
are in the foster care system, up for adoption, could have
permanent homes if gay people could adopt them. For every child
available and waiting for adoption, there are 16 lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender people wanting to adopt, according to the
Williams Institute analysis. The supply of parents dwarfs demand
— not a bad problem to have.

It’s wrong to let all those prospective parents sit on the
sidelines while kids are bouncing from one temporary foster home to
another. Many states apparently think it’s healthier and more
productive if foster children remain wards of the states, without
parents, than to let them be raised in so-called nontraditional

President Obama said recently that loving families come in many

He told the Family Equality Council in 2008 that more needs to be
done “to support and strengthen LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and
transgender] families. Because equality in relationship, family,
and adoption rights is not some abstract principle; it’s about
whether millions of LGBT Americans can finally live lives marked by
dignity and freedom.”

That’s why we call on the president publicly to endorse the Every
Child Deserves a Family Act, legislation in Congress that would
open the doors for LGBT people to adopt. The bill takes into
consideration the best interests of each individual child, rather
than excluding potential parents based on personal bias or

It’s up to LGBT parents to define the perception of parenting and
not let those opposed do it for us. We speak a common language with
other parents from bedtime to bath time. And over time, more people
will realize that LGBT families have a lot in common with
traditional families.

Until then, however, the foster kids are waiting.