I was waiting by the elevator when I saw the wonderful front page photo of Tom and Dennis Patrick with their three sons (on the cover of last week’s BTL). I’m not a frequent reader of Between The Lines, but I guess every publisher knows babies and puppies sell papers.
I’m a mother, and I am always heartened to see people making a go of adoption and foster parenting. I can never understand people who say they want children, but then say they “couldn’t possibly” adopt. That was particularly frustrating when for a long time, there were lots of loving people who wanted to adopt and couldn’t.
The photo and story on the Patrick family reminded me of that salient fact, and gave me a moment in my day to think sometimes civilization does progress. Sometime in the 20th Century the language and intent of adoption changed from “finding a home for a child” to helping childless people – some childless people. I have grown tired and frustrated with coverage of the “tragedy of infertility,” and believe me no one ever wanted to have babies as much as I did. I grieved, but the truth was, I really did want a child – so adoption eventually followed. We need to put the emphasis back on finding a home and family for every child on this planet who needs one. Every story like the one you ran encourages people who may be considering adoption, and that means more children will have aunts, uncles, grandparents, puppies and college educations – not to mention someone to tuck them in, pour their Cheerios and experience all the joys and pains of parenthood.
So while some may think a nice gentle feature story is a small thing, I do not. And I hope that more singles and couples – straight or gay – will open their hearts, families and homes and adopt children or sponsor foster children.
There’s another untold layer to this story, and that is that single gay people, and other singles and gay couples, are often the ones who are willing to take on children that others won’t – older children, special needs children, foster children, etc. I think as a society we should help and support potential parents willing to make a commitment to children in every way we can.
So good luck to the Patricks and thanks for the story.