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Gays and Lesbians Needed!
April 13, 2010 permalink
Children's aid in Windsor is seeking gays and lesbians to become foster and adoptive parents.
Gay foster parents sought
Children's Aid starts drive
A new campaign will encourage adoptive and foster parenting in Windsor's gay and lesbian community.
Organized in partnership between Windsor Pride and the local Children's Aid Society, the project seeks to promote awareness that families come in diverse forms.
The initiative's first public session takes place Wednesday night at Windsor Pride's downtown centre, where CAS representatives will be on hand to answer questions from gay and lesbian singles and couples interested in adopting a child or becoming foster parents.
"Parenting is a great gift," said Neil Mens, executive director of Windsor Pride. "Everybody in Canada who is prepared to take on that responsibility, and can afford to do so, should be able to do that."
Bev Thomson, CAS adoption recruiter, said there is always a need for adoptive and foster parents in general, regardless of sexual orientation.
But gay or lesbian adoptive parents remain relatively rare in Windsor and Essex County. Thomson said that over the past four years, there have only been about five applications for adoption by same-sex households in this area.
"I think a lot of people in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) community aren't aware of the fact that we would accept them as adoptive and foster parents," Thomson said.
Darcy Thachuk, CAS foster parenting recruiter, said: "From our end, there is no issue. We are actively recruiting unique families from different cultures.... It's about parenting, and providing children with a safe home environment, giving children a second chance."
Asked what special challenges are faced by lesbians or gays who choose to adopt or become foster parents, Mens said there remains a potential for lack of understanding in schools and neighbourhoods.
One misconception identified by Mens is the belief that a child who grows up with homosexual parents will be homosexual.
Mens pointed out that the vast majority of homosexual individuals today grew up in heterosexual households. "We're not trained," Mens said with a chuckle.
Mens had less to smile about when asked about so-called "traditional family" advocacy groups that argue against same-sex households. "They have a bias that they want to communicate. They have a right to communicate as they like, as long as people recognize the bias that comes with those words."
Mens said modern families take many different shapes: There are single parents, divorced parents, and parents who have remarried.
But Mens added that the focus of the initiative is to emphasize the commonalities in parenting rather than the differences.
"Good people come from many different backgrounds," Mens said.
Mens noted that the information session will be attended by local gays and lesbians who are currently adoptive or foster parents, and they will share their experiences with attendees.
The information session takes place from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Windsor Pride community education and resource centre, 422 Pelissier St.
For more information, visit www.windsorpride.com or call 519-973-4656.
Source: Windsor Star
The Star posted this article twice, first with the headline:
Initiative to encourage gays, lesbians to adopt