- November 6, 2015
Post submitted by Beth Sherouse, former ACLS Public Fellow, HRC Senior Content Manager
Families in the LGBT community come in all shapes and sizes, just like families everywhere. Many of us have worked to overcome discrimination and other challenges to create beautiful and diverse families, and many in our community have provided healthy and loving homes to children and youth through adoption and foster care.
Rob and Reese Scheer’s family includes four children. The dads, who live in Maryland, adopted from foster care. Their 11-year-old daughter, Amaya, recently shared her story in the American Girl magazine, which is published by the makers of the popular American Girl dolls.
“My daddy and I are very different, but we’re a lot alike, too,” Amaya wrote. “We both love animals. We like to help others. And we were both in foster care as kids. […] My daddy and I do lots of things together, like caring for the animals on our little farm. We have ducks, chickens, goats, and two dogs. We also work to help kids who are in foster care today.”
It’s difficult to imagine how anyone could read a story like Amaya’s and not see how amazing and wonderful her family is. But leave it to the anti-LGBT group One Million Moms to take the Amaya’s beautiful, loving story and turn it into criticism of her family and her caring dads.
On its website, the group is encouraging people to cancel their subscriptions to the magazine, and have accused the publisher of trying to “desensitize our youth by featuring a family with two dads.” The Scheers have also received negative phone calls about the story.
In an interview with the Washington Post, Rob Scheer said that instead of focusing on these negative opinions, he prefers to encourage people to “go out and adopt all these kids who need a home.”
As a recent research brief from the HRC Foundation and FosterClub explained, there are nearly 400,000 children and youth in foster care in the United States, with a quarter of those awaiting adoption. Of those awaiting adoption, another 25 percent age out of the foster system each year without ever finding permanent families.
Amaya, in her story, talked about what life was like for her and her brother, Makai, before they were adopted and about her dads’ charity, which helps provide backpacks, clothes and other supplies to children in foster care.
“When Makai and I were first adopted, everything we had was stuffed into trash bags, one for each of us,” she remembered “That made my daddy feel really bad. When he was a kid in foster care and moving from place to place, he also carried the few things he owned in a trash bag. He says it made him feel like he wasn’t worth much. He thinks kids should be treated better than that.”
For more information on LGBT foster care and adoption, visit hrc.org/acaf.