When the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in June, hopeful gay adoptive parents such as Clay Jones and Joe Babin breathed a sigh of relief.
The landmark ruling instantly eliminated some legal hurdles. But it didn’t do away with the challenges that all couples looking to adopt a baby face such as getting themselves adoption-ready and being chosen by an expectant mother.
And it didn’t help them sidestep any of the additional obstacles and prejudices that are specific to same-sex adopting couples.
Despite studies that show children’s well-being is affected more by their relationships with their parents than by the gender or sexual orientation of their parents, hopeful gay adoptive parents still face an uphill battle.
Clay and Joe, who added their adoption profile to America Adopts! earlier this month to give their outreach efforts a boost, have taken it all in stride.
“We’re taking it as it comes,” Joe told America Adopts! after his adoption story and our profile service were featured in this article. “We want to let things happen as they may—kind of like ‘If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.'”
He added that he and Clay are “definitely excited about expanding our family and welcoming a beautiful child into our home. We figure whatever way we can get it known that we are looking to adopt and the more venues we can be on, the better chance there is that the right expectant mother at the right time will see us and say, ‘You are the family I choose!'”
So how has theCourt’s landmark ruling changed things for Clay and Joe and other hopeful adoptive gay couples living in states like Alabama?
Prior to the ruling, gay individuals had the right to adopt a child, but only one partner was recognized as the child`s adoptive parent.
In Joe and Clay’s case, that meant Clay was listed as the single adoptive parent, while Joe was known as “the Roommate.” As a result, Joe was prohibited from making any parenting relating to the child’s medical or educational needs and would not be granted visitation if the couple were to split up.
Now, with the court’s ruling, they can jointly adopt and equally share in parenting their child.
So far, Clay and Joe, who have been together for 12 years and own their own salon business, say that their adoption experience has been largely positive.
“Friends and family have been very supportive,” Joe told America Adopts!. “We have so many friends that we consider family have babies recently. The timing is just perfect if a little one was to come into our lives soon!”
When asked what was the biggest challenge they’ve faced so far, Joe replied, “I guess I wish it wasn’t front page news that a gay couple was trying to adopt. It’s funny to me how much press we are getting for just being ourselves and gay.”
Still, Joe —whose brother was placed for adoption–said he’s proud of what the couple have achieved together and remain hopeful about welcoming a baby into their home.
“We have been together going on 13 years, we work together, we live together, we are each others best friend and companion. We never really needed validation from anyone to tell us that until we started the road to adoption. Now we will be able to be recognized for all of the hard work, commitment and respect we have for other. No one can ever take that away,”
Read the full story here.
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