Let Love Define Family: Recognizing Equality

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Nine years ago when I walked into my first fost-adoption training here in California, I was welcomed to build a family. However, I also understood that the family I created would have to face a different set of rules. At the time, I wanted to have children so badly that I accepted that the family I created could not receive the same protections and benefits as the majority of the other prospective parents in my class. My family was different. We were destined to be different. I accepted that and moved forward.

In my call with Gabriel Blau, Executive Director of Family Equality Council, I shared our recent discoveries. RaiseAChild.US outreach efforts and program services are not only attracting more LGBT people, but also beginning to attract increasing numbers of heterosexual prospective foster and adoptive parents to our website and events. It is a fact that surprises the RaiseAChild.US staff and also makes us proud.

“That is a good sign,” Gabriel said. “It just goes to show you one of the gifts that LGBT people bring to the nation is a renewed focus on core issues of our society that really affect us all. The work we’re doing is not just about gaining legal rights. It’s also about changing the culture around family. It is about educating people and creating systems and organizations and services that lots of people can relate to. It’s really expanding people’s ideas of how families can be made and constructed. That matches up with the reality of families across the country, many of whom are not married heterosexual parents living together. You know, children being raised by their grandparents, by their uncles, by single parents, by adopted parents and endless configurations of how these families came to be and what they look like. That’s really what we’re bringing to the whole country. People are getting to really understand the diversity of family. I think it’s really blessing for everybody.”

Read the full story at Huffington Post Queer Voices by Rich Valenza at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/12/recognizing-equality-let-love_n_6139476.html .

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