Straight ally shares feelings on adoption issue

To the editor: 

I have read with disappointment about the bill that has been filed with the Tenn. House and Tenn. Senate that would prevent anyone that isn’t legally married from adopting, making it impossible for gay or unmarried individuals to adopt children.

Tenn. House bill HB 3713 by John Deberry (D-Memphis) and Tenn. Senate bill SB3910 by Paul Stanley (R-Memphis) have introduce a bill that would amend the Tenn. Code (TCA Title 36 and 49) to “prohibit any individual who is cohabitating in a sexual relationship outside of a marriage that is valid under the constitution and laws of this state from adopting a minor.”

How sad that two of our male legislator have nothing better to do than create such an attempt of blatant discrimination against individuals who have failed to conform into society’s idea of what a perfect family should consist of. Not to mention the fact that House Rep. DeBerry is an African American who obviously doesn’t remember not only the past but also current attempts and successes of society to discriminate against his race, gender and ancestral heritage.

As a woman, I’m also offended to think that these two men would think that a single female (or male for that fact) could not provide a loving and stable environment just because they choose to not marry. I don’t know where it’s written and proved that just because a marriage certificate is part of a relationship that unconditional love, stability and financial security comes along with it!!

I am proud to say that my husband and I have many GLBT as well as straight friends. Many of those GLBT’s are a couple, have been in a long term, monogamous relationship, are actively involved in church AND have children, many of whom have been adopted through foster parenting. I see more patience, kindness, stability and unconditional love come from these parents with their children than I do with “traditional married parents” toward their children. Gay couples are much more willing to accept responsibility of a “hard to place” child that has been abused, neglected, is handicapped, is not an infant or is of a mixed race whereas most married couples prefer that “perfect newborn.”

Also, I cannot recall that I have ever once read about gay adoptive parents abusing, molesting or murdering a child, but I’m sure if we all think hard enough, multiple stories of abuse, murder and neglect committed by teachers, parents, boy/girl friends, step-parents or clergy person will quickly come to mind.

I can only hope that the people of Tennessee will see what a hateful, mean spirited and discriminating bill that our legislators are trying to put into law. This law would be based on prejudice and would not be in the best interest for our children, especially children in the Tennessee foster system. A state foster system with problems of its own that I haven’t even begun to write about.

Sheila A. Hobson, PHR
943 Old Dickerson Pk.
Goodlettsville, TN 37072

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