Our Story: Foster Parenting in Kentucky
November 26, 2012 by Guest contributor
This guest post comes from Craig Cammack:
Joseph and I have always talked about having children, and the ways in which we could make that happen. Altogether, we have three nieces and five nephews. We always loved visiting them and playing proud uncles! Even though we love our nieces and nephews, we knew we wanted to do more and be “full-time parents”. Our discussions were always concerning whose last name we’d use, what activities we would do with our children, and all of the fun stuff! We began looking at our options in Kentucky, but were really just thinking about it, rather than truly making major decisions.
Then, in 2009, a Kentucky State Senator decided to propose a bill that would have banned adoption from any unmarried couples. We tried our best to get as many advocates to bring this bill to its grave. With nearly 10,000 strong, we bombarded state governing offices with emails, calls, and letters showing strength against this hate-filled bill. Luckily, it was easily defeated, and that gave us the drive to begin seriously looking at our options for having children.
In 2011, the Human Rights Campaign came to Lexington and provided an “LGBT Adoption 101” workshop in partnership with a few pioneering local agencies that are welcoming to our community. By bringing in local representatives, we learned more about the range of possibilities for fostering and adopting, what things to consider and what may work best for us. This started our journey into foster care.
We were certified Kentucky foster parents in January of this year, and it has been extremely rewarding. We have a wonderful LGBT foster care support group that we can reach out to with questions. We had our first foster placement only a month after being certified. The boys were quite a handful, to say the least, but fun. They returned to their mother after being with us for five months.
Now we have two brothers who are the sweetest, kindest kids on the earth! We enjoy watching them learn and grow and providing them with the resources, support, and love they need.
We know that this path is not an easy one to take. After loving and caring for children who live in your home for months or years, you inevitably are on pins and needles with the prospects that they return to their parents. But we understand that is the goal of foster care. We want to provide a safe and loving environment for these children, so when they do return to their birth families, they know that they can be whatever they wish to be in life, no matter what they are told.
This is what we feel we need to do. It gives us the opportunity to have a family, help children who are in desperate need, and make our community stronger. Joseph and I have grown so much over this past year, and have ended up being the parents we always knew we wanted to be. We encourage our fellow LGBT community members to look at foster care and how you can fulfill your dream, while helping children in need. And you can rely on HRC’s All Children-All Families agency resources to help you find the most supportive, welcoming agency even if you are in a red state!
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