As a two-mom household, we have always been concerned about our children facing discrimination because their parents are lesbians. Recently, Shay (our 6-year-old adopted son) was told he could not have two mommies by a classmate. He informed his peer that he in fact has three mommies, his birth mother, my wife and me. Shay was placed with us when he was 2 days old and we were lucky enough to adopt him shortly after his second birthday. We have always been very open with Shay about his adoption, we want him to understand his whole identity. His response was priceless, innocent and absolutely correct.
We were treated like every other couple
When my wife and I started down the path to become foster parents six and a half years ago, we were worried that our sexual orientation would be used against us. At the time, Wisconsin’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was still new and parenting as a lesbian couple was challenging. When we decided to expand our family through foster care, we were concerned that the child welfare system would discriminate against us and our future children would face bullying. We were pleasantly surprised when our licensing worker treated us like every other couple. We were asked a lot of probing questions, filled out tons of paperwork and felt like we were under a microscope. This is typical of the licensing process.
All children need a loving family
Now that there is marriage equality, the same laws and regulations apply to all married couples, regardless of sexual orientation. A common argument I hear from others is while the law requires all married couples to be treated equally, there is no guarantee that same-sex couples won’t face additional discrimination. And this is true. However, in our time as foster parents we have not encountered any discrimination from the child welfare system. Our case managers, licensing workers, attorneys, judges, and basically everyone, all have been supportive of our family. We share a common goal — a forever family for Shay.
In the end, it doesn’t matter if your home has two moms, two dads or some other combination. All children, especially foster children, need a loving family and safe place to live and flourish.
– Abigail Collier, licensed foster parent
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services recruits, trains and provides support services for foster families. The need for foster parents in Wisconsin is great. Contact us to receive information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or visit our website to learn more.