Proposed adoption change angers gay parents
October 2, 1996
From Correspondent Don Knapp
SAN FRANCISCO (CNN) -- Lesbian and gay activists are up in arms about a proposal by California Gov. Pete Wilson to restrict adoption by couples to those who are legally married.
Politically active gay-rights supporters like Kate Kendell say the proposed change to California's adoption regulations are nothing short of an attack on the concept of homosexual marriage.
"These regulations will not effect in any way the ability of single people, regardless of their sexual orientation, to adopt," said Kendell. "It will only affect the ability of committed lesbian and gay couples to adopt."
California is one of 18 states that allows both members of a homosexual couple to legally adopt a child. Wilson's initiative appears to be an indirect attempt to join the ranks of Florida and New Hampshire, which specifically outlaw homosexual adoptions.
"The governor believes it's in the best interests of the child to have a mother and a father in the household," a spokesman for Wilson told CNN.
An estimated 17,000 children wait in California foster homes for adoption. Agencies working to place the youngsters say the proposed rule change could make it tougher to find adoptive parents.
"This regulation would really drastically reduce the pool," said Harriet Finck of the agency Adopt a Special Kid. "Over the last two years, of the children that AASK has placed in homes, I'd say 50 percent were single parents or couples unmarried."
Thana Christian is one person who might not have qualified as an adoptive parent under California's proposed change. She is single and a lesbian.
"I mean, that was one of the terrible losses you face being homosexual, was that you didn't get to have a family," said Christian.
But after spending $35,000 over four years trying to become a mother -- first through artificial insemination, then adoption -- she brought home a 10-month-old girl, Patty, in July.
"It's wonderful. She needed ,me as much as I needed her," Christian said. "And the birth parents needed me as much as I needed them. It's wonderful, even better than I imagine."
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