“How can two small kids turn a simple bath into a natural disaster?” Carole shook her head.
Her partner, Marilyn, laughed. “They’re still fighting over the ducky?”
“I wish,” Carole collapsed onto sofa. “Now they work together. A well oiled machine of destruction. Next bath is on your watch.”
“I don’t know, Marilyn,” Carole said, “I think I’ve had it with being a foster parent.”
“But we love these kids like they were our own!”
“Exactly. So, now it’s time to be real parents.”
Marilyn welled up. “I feel the same way!”
“Then let’s do something about it!,” Carole said.
The next week, their foster daughter Olivia came home in tears after a playground skirmish.
“Katia said her parents were the smartest cuz they’re lawyers. And I said mine were smarter cuz they’re engineers!”
Carole smiled. “Honey, there’s no need to compete.”
“But she said that I didn’t have real parents! Just fake foster ones!”
Carole hugged. “I know it hurts.”
“I want real parents!”
“But we are real!”
“I mean…forever parents!”
Carole looked at Marilyn. “I think we should tell them…”
“I don’t want to get their hopes up. Well…why not!” Marilyn turned to the kids.
“We have started adoption proceedings. We’re going to be your forever parents!”
“Yay!” Olivia and her brother Niles jumped for joy.
But social services refused their application. “Gays can’t adopt. That’s the law in Florida.”
Carole turned to Marilyn. “I told you we shouldn’t have said anything to the kids. How will we explain this?”
“We’ll explain that we’re fighting this in court!,” Marilyn said.
IN THE COURTROOM
Carole and Marilyn fought the ban. “Banning gay parents from adopting is pure discrimination! Were every bit as good as parents!”
The government disagreed. “Gay people are more likely to suffer from mental illness rendering them less fit to parent. Plus, foster children are already at risk and don’t need the added social stigma.”
Should the adoption ban be overturned? You! Be The Judge. Then look below for the decision.
“The gay adoption ban is unconstitutional,” held the Judge. “The ban singles out gay people for different treatment for no rational reason, denying children the right to permanency. Sexual orientation is not a predictor of a person’s ability to parent.”
Today’s column is based on a case from Florida. The characters and the scenarios are fictional. Any resemblance to real people is purely coincidental. The information in this column does not constitute legal advice. If you have a similar problem, consult a lawyer in your province. Elissa Bernstein is a lawyer and internationally syndicated columnist. Copyright 2009 Haika Enterprises, all rights reserved.