Family is a concept that evokes strong emotions within every human being. Love them or hate them, it is our family that provides each of us with a strong sense of who we are and what we believe in. From the nurturing that we all require as babies to the patience and understanding required to get through the tumultuous teens years and beyond, our families provide us with the means and emotional support to thrive in an ever-changing world.
The desire to be part of a family is very strong within us. The parental instinct is a driving force as we move from the selfish teenage years into the stable and forward-thinking years of our 20's and 30's. This instinctive urge is born out of our need to continue our species through procreation. For most adults this biological need is achieved through the natural process of reproduction. In some cases, it is not possible for a person to succeed in this miraculous necessity. Whether single or married, the alternative way to build a family is through adoption. Adoption is the primary means of pairing orphaned or unwanted children with individuals desiring to build a family. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 125,000 children are adopted each year in America.
While this process has proven to be extremely successful at building stable, loving families, there are many who are excluded from this joy. For every child adopted in a given year, there is another child stuck in the foster care system awaiting their forever family. It is understood that not every person desiring to adopt is not fit for reasons ranging from financial to health to living situation. Sadly, there are many individuals who are capable of providing exceptional homes that are excluded solely based upon their sexual orientation. Both the prospective parent and the child are greatly harmed by the discriminatory standards applied when deciding whether or not that person is fit to raise a child.