For Prospective Gay Parents, Adoption Odds About to Get Worse

Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to sign into law a bill that would allow state-funded private child-placement agencies the right to deny services based on their religious or moral beliefs.

Greg Greeley grew up in a large family and knew that one day he would want to start his own.

"When I decided to start a family, and began reaching out to adopt, I was a single father," said Greeley, who moved to Virginia in 1987. He was in the Air Force and stationed at the Pentagon.

As a single, gay man, Greeley faced many challenges before successfully navigating the state's adoption process.

He started the process in 2001. A year later, after locating a progressive child-placement agency in Virginia, he adopted his first child from Ukraine.

"It was a hard process and I was lucky," said Greeley, who lives in Arlington and now has a second adopted son from El Salvador. "The first question I asked each agency was, 'Do you work with single fathers?' I called a dozen agencies, and only one said yes. It’s amazing to have that many doors shut in your face over and over again. No one asked, 'Would you be a good father? What is your background?' None of it was based on any of those things that would be important to determine is this a good placement for a child. It was just 'No, we don’t work with single fathers.' "

He continued: "It’s a good thing to make sure that people are good parents. But it’s terrible when people won’t even consider you. They won't even look at why, they’ll just tell you no."

The process is about to get much more difficult.

Gov. Bob McDonnell is expected to soon sign a bill that would add a 'conscience clause' to state adoption laws that would give private child-placement agencies, even those that receive state funding, the legal right to deny services to prospective parents if they felt the placement would go against their written moral or religious beliefs.

The measure also would prohibit the state from denying grants, contracts or license renewals to agencies that exercise that right.

The bill has drawn sharp criticism from several state legislators, along with gay and lesbian residents and advocates, who view the measure as sanctioning legal discrimination.

"This bill gives license for state funds to be used for religious discrimination," said state Sen. Adam Ebbin in a phone interview. "The question is should agencies that recieve tax payer dollars be able to discriminate?"

Ebbin, who is openly gay, , which approved it last month 22-17.

The Family Foundation, a conservative group that supported the bill, called the approval a 'monumental victory' for religious freedom on its website, saying that it will protect religious groups and allow them to act in accordance with their values. 

Neither the Family Foundation nor the bill's sponsor, Republican state Sen. Jeff McWaters of Virginia Beach, returned phone calls or written requests to discuss their support.

The current structure of Virginia's foster care system makes distinguishing between the public and private spheres almost impossible. In Virginia, a network of 120 public child-placement agencies and 70 private agencies help the state look after the 4,407 children currently being cared for by the state's foster care system.

"Our departments often contract with private agencies for various aspects of the placement process," said Eileen Guertler, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Social Services. "Many private agencies do wonderful work and play a vital role for children in our system."

While many private agencies certainly provide valuable services to some of the state's most vulnerable children, introducing morality into the legal process of adoption will make the already difficult process almost impossible for some parents hoping to adopt.

In a recent Huffington Post op-ed, demographer Gary Gates of the University of California Los Angeles Williams Institute argued that the measure is not in best the interest of Virginia's children.

Highlighting the estimated 1,700 adopted children and 300 foster children being raised by single gay and lesbian parents in Virginia, Gates predicted that the new law would have negative economic and social consequences in this state by barring otherwise-qualified prospective parents from adopting solely on a moral basis.

"I think a lot of people who could make good parents won’t have the opportunity to do that, and it's sad," said Greeley, who shared his story before a Senate subcommittee.

"There are lots of choices you’ll make through life and in many cases you’ll think back and question. For me, the decision to adopt was never one I’ve looked back on."

Carol Lewis March 16, 2012 at 08:54 PM
And in 1973 the American Psychiatric Association confirmed that homosexuality was not a mental disorder and that it was normal.
Carol Lewis March 16, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Once again, Gerald, our words are hurtful. My son is gay. He was born that way. He wasn't abused; he has never abused others. He was raised by me and his stepfather. He's learned to stand up to what people say, as have I. He has friends, a good job that he excels at, and he's earned the respect of all who work with him and know him. Keep in mind that straight parents raising gay children have to teach them and help them to understand what GLBT means! We don't know what it means to be gay but we learn quickly how to protect them. What makes you think gay parents can't do that as well. And who in the world are you to say that same sex couples deciding to start a family are mentally deficient?! Who in the hell do you think you are. For anyone to think that he couldn't be a good parent just because he's gay is hurtful, harmful, and degrading. To think that others, such as Gerald, think he is an abomination and a sinner just because he's gay is also hurtful, un-Christian, and deplorable. No amount of quoting the Bible or all sorts of studies will change my mind so don't bother to respond. God help you to learn some caring and mercy for your fellow human beings. Go read more of the words of Jesus and less of the old Testament and outdated studies.
Gerald McDonald March 17, 2012 at 03:06 AM
Carol Lewis there are more times than we'd like that we have to let our children know that something they are doing, a path that they are taking, a way of life that they may be living, that is going to be harmful to them, either now and later on for eternity. Which decent parent would not tell their child that lying, stealing, killing, or any other sin is wrong, and that they must change. They must stop from what they are doing. Yet, these are sins just like adultery. And, the penalty for a homosexual life style in the old testament was the same as that of adultery.
Gerald McDonald March 17, 2012 at 03:08 AM
They were stoned to death unless they confessed their sins. There are studies produced giving credence to either one of the beliefs of why a person is a homosexual. But, I maintain that our belief should be what God has made clear in His word. God does not want us to feel comfortable in our sins, He wants us to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit so that later we can feel the love that we feel when we go to Christ and find forgiveness and freedom from sin, Which ever sin may plague us. Our responsibility as parents is not to make our children feel good when they are experimenting with a spiritual threat, our responsibility is to let them know what God says about how they are living and point them to Christ as their Savior. If we don't we are missing the mark and may even see our children lost as well as we ourselves.
Gerald McDonald March 17, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Carol Lewis: My postings are not done to cause pain. They are written to try and counteract the lies and subtleties that satan is trying to pass as truth and love. It's not love if you don't tell your child that they are wrong. It's not love when a parent encourages their child to continue living in sin. It's one thing to love and encourage a child to continue to struggle against a habit that would drag them down and give them into satan's hands. And it's another thing to tell your child that all their doing is alright. God does not play with sin. He saw how it separated Adam and Eve from Him. He saw how it dragged the earth through upheaval and devastation. He saw even before it happened. And He saw how it would cost His very own Son His life. Sin could not just be ignored. It had to be dealt with and dealt with by the Blood of God. So Carol. I mean this with love I can possible express. If we sin, the penalty is death unless we go to Christ and allow Him to cover us with His righteousness. But once done we must forsake our sins and cling to Christ as the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Gerald McDonald March 17, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Niki Walters: No, I haven't watched it. Tell me about it. But, before you do, let me share what I have experienced. I saw in the Bible how Christ came to reveal the love of His Father. I saw how Christ showed that even though we are sinners Christ died for us. Yes I believe for us, each and every one of us. I saw how that even for His own son, God could not forget or ignore sin. When Christ said in the garden, Father if it be possible let this cup pass, But never the less not My but your will be done. Sin is so contagious, so anti life that it has to be eradicated from our thoughts, our lives. If we should hold onto, if we should cherish any sin in our lives, when Christ comes through the clouds, whether we're dead or alive, we will be identified as sin and we will eventually be eradicated as sin. Christ told the woman caught in adultery and dragged before Him," Neither do I condemn you, Go and sin no more. We don't have to sin. Christ came also to show us that He has the power to release us from our sins. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Gerald McDonald March 17, 2012 at 03:52 AM
Carol Lewis: Please tell me just what I have said that is offensive. As far as I know I have only pointed that sin, any sin is offensive to God, who sent His Son to show us that we don't need to live in sin. He can free us. He can save us from our sins. I have not told anyone that they can not be saved. I only want to let all people know that we can not believe the worlds lies, and therefor satans lies that homosexuality is not a sin. Satan is pushing this false belief as much as he can. And he is trying to make God seem like an unjust and vengeful God. Don't you think that if sin, any kind of sin could be explained away that God wouldn't have needed to send His Son to die on the cross. The cross show just how offensive sin is to God. It shows what it would take to free us from our sins. But we can not just say oh well that's just how I am. Forget about the argument as to whether some are born homosexuals or gay or not. God says whether we are thieves or murderers, adulterers, or cheats, born like that or made later like that. We all are sinners in need of a saving God. He will not allow sin to enter heaven again. That's His promise to us. There will be no more sorrow, suffering, No more sin, But we must be willing to want to free from our sins so that He can free us. And He Will.
Niki Walters March 17, 2012 at 04:25 AM
Prayers for Bobby: True story of Mary Griffith, gay rights crusader, whose teenage son committed suicide due to her religious intolerance. Based on the book of the same title by Leroy Aarons.
Niki Walters March 17, 2012 at 04:26 AM
Just out of curiosity, Gerald, do you have children of your own or nieces or nephews??
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 06:33 AM
Niki Walters, yes I have children. Two of them. I also have several nieces and nephews. And, one of them, is in a sinful lifestyle. I love her as if she were my own. And, as if she were my own I approached her about her lifestyle and although she felt remorse for it, and seemed to have wanted to change, instead she became engulfed in it. How it will end, God only knows. But I do know that if there is any one, any one that is practicing any kind of sin, including that of a homosexual life. God does set us free from our sins, through Jesus Christ our Lord. I'm not speaking about a fairytale, I'm talking about the One, True God. If you look around you would be able to see an untold number of used to be sinners, that have taken Christ at His word and have literally found release from their sins and redemption for for their lives. Even and including once gay homosexual individuals. That is another thing that satan is lying about. satan would have us to believe that the adulterer, the murderer, the Cleptomaniacs we're all what ever, but as the song goes, " Would you be free from your burden of sin, there's power in the blood, power in the blood. Would you or evil and victory win, there's wonderful power in the blood. You see, there's room at the cross at the cross for everyone. Those who were haters to those who were mass murderers. And Christ has a place in heaven for all who give their lives to Him. And we intrust our lives to Him, He won't give us up, and satan can't take us.
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 06:48 AM
Niki Walters thanks for returning with your info. Niki, I'm not condoning in any form the thinking that someone should be rejected or pushed away for any reason. I don't think you've seen any where in my postings where I've belittled or commented anyone. I've merely stated that sinners any sinners, including an individual that is having a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex, can find freedom from their sin through Christ. We are to love anyone that God brings into our sphere of influence. We are to treat them as we would have them treat us were they to find out our hidden sins. And, by God's grace we should point them to the only one that has the power to recreate our lives. Niki, are you a Christian? Do you want believe that God has the power to redeem us? All we need do is go to Him. He will understand our hesitancy. He will understand our unbelief. All He asks is that we give Him the permission to effect His life giving salvation in our lives and then He will help us to live lives that will reflect His character. Sinners have left off using alcohol, drugs and they have left off killing, stealing and whatever. I've known those who were practicing homosexuals and who are now living lives for Christ.
Carol Lewis March 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM
Gerald: Goodbye from me, no more postings. Not because you've won me over but because you don't get it. You use your religion to cloak your prejudice. I reject your fundamental premise, that homosexuality is a sin, so there's no ground for discussion. You could have shown your niece compassion AND acceptance but you didn't. Your god is too small.
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 12:37 PM
Leviticus 18:22 22 "`Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable." Leviticus 20:13. "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 9 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Romans 1:25-27 25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator-- who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Carol Lewis these Texts are from the Bible. Now, there are many things that we hold as truth from the Bible. Even if it speaks of it a few times. But, the Bible speaks of homosexuality, that of man with men and woman with woman as being detestable, to God. It's an abomination. Put into the same detestable category as that of people with animals. Many realize this as sexual perversion. I'm not saying that the persons involved in these acts as being detestable, they are God's children, we are God's children. We have all sinned. But, we must recognize that we are sinners and accept what God says is sin. He tells us of our sins because they separtate us from Him and we need Him. And you as a parent must accept what God says and love your child to God. If you reject Gods word about what He has made clear then you are rejecting God. And just as Adam and Eve were expelled from the Gardin when they listened to satan in the garden.so we, if we listen to satan, instead of what God has made plain, we are indanger of not receiving eternal life.
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 12:59 PM
And Carol, I did show compassion and acceptance to my niece. And we are friends. I chose to show real love to her by letting her know what God's word says. Telling someone that their house is on fire is an act of love. It is trying to pull them to safety. Encouraging them to remain in their house, that is allowing them to be lost. Carol we need to understand that even though God is Love to the Nth degree, He is also just. His Son died to show us just how much God loved us. But at the same time His death also shows us, just how much God hates sin. He hates it because of what it does to us. He hates it because it separates us from Him. It doesn't allow Him the opportunity to accept us, because as Adam and Eve ran and hid from God in the Garden, not trusting in Him so now sin keeps us from trusting Him. In His power to recreate, and save. You have part of it right. You love you child and you don't reject him, now point him to the One that loves your son more. The One that has the power to give new life. Real life. Both now and for eternity. Why would you lose your son, and possibly your self.
John Arbuckle March 17, 2012 at 01:10 PM
The only scripture that matters is John 13:34 Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. I have friends that are homosexual and have adopted two boys and one girl. They are some of the best well adjusted and down to earth kids you will meet. They couldn't be happier with their parents. Stop thinking about hate and do what the bible actually tells you, which is to love one another.
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 01:26 PM
John Arbuckle that text you mentioned is one of the many texts that God has given us. But none of them can be ignored. We must love, but God says that part of that love is letting those that don't know they are in sin, that they are in sin. A child seeing a parent living in sin, causes that child to accept that sin as normal and ok. And that child grows up permitting and even participating in that sin. Children grow up with many of the same habits their parents have. Child abuse, smoking and drinking are all learned behaviors. Homosexuality is another. God is more than just love. He will loving reject the entrance of any sinner refusing to allow Him to cleanse that sinner from their sins. God promised that sin will not arise a second time. He promised that there will be no more suffering, tears or pain in heaven. If God were to allow any sinner still with sin then the whole mess would only begin again. God loves the sinner but hates the sin.
John Arbuckle March 17, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Gerald, the only one that hates is you. Leave God out of it.
Carol Lewis March 17, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Thank you, John!
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 07:50 PM
John Arbuckle Now, you know that you haven't met me. You haven't known me long enough to make such a judgement call. Please tell me, which one of my posts sound hateful as the one that you have stated. I'm giving a wake up call. Look what God says in Ezekiel 3: 17Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. 18When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 19Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. 20Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 21Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.
Gerald March 17, 2012 at 07:52 PM
John God is love. God cares for us more than we care for ourselves. He said that John 3:16. He said that He wants to given eternal life to all those that come to Him. But, He can not save us if we are holding on to our sins. And, if you believe in God, you must believe in the fact that we are sinners in need of a Savior. God saves from sin and it's penalty. And the Bible says that the penalty for sin is death.
John Arbuckle March 18, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Sure Gerald, I'll be happy to give you an example. By your view homosexuality is a sin, and as you read your bible you view that the penalty for sin is death. Thus you must believe that homosexuals should die for their sin. That sir is hate. As Carol Lewis has done prior to myself, I will no longer give your hate filled words my time or attention. Instead I will pray that you will stop hating your fellow man.
David March 18, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Gerald, WHY would ANYONE listen to an unrepentant sinner like you! You wear cotton/polyester blend underwear in clear violation of Deuteronomy 22:11 & Leviticus 19:19! Furthermore, you are obstinately in violation of Deuteronomy 14: 7 - 10! How dare you so publicly flaunt your violations of Deuteronomy 14 : 7 - 10 eating crabs, shrimp, oyster, clams, rabbit & pork! Even at restaurants! I bet you even allow your wife & daughters to remain inside the house during their period in clear violation of Leviticus 15:19-30 & 20:18, Ezekiel 18:5-6! They are unclean! Send them to the shed until their period passes. Until such time as YOU turn your life around & give up these sins, NO ONE ought listen to anything you say, you disgusting, despicable sinner who shall roast in the fiery pits of hell for all eternity! We tell you this in the spirit of Jesus' everlasting love, because we love you but hate your sinful "lifestyle".
Gerald March 18, 2012 at 02:41 AM
John Arbuckle answer me this what do you do with the texts that actually say that homosexuality is a detestable act and the Bible calls the act of a man laying with another man as though that man were a woman, that this was an abomination. It refers this act in the same detail as that when a person dehumanizes their self by having intercourse with an animal. Now some are saying that homosexuality can not be helped and that it's ok. But would you say the same thing as the person that feels that it is ok to bed an animal. I'm not singling out any other sin or sinner. I've maintained that any sinner with any sin, is in danger of an actual eternal death with out having given their lives to the real Savior. I've maintained that God wishes for no one to be lost and therefore to die eternally, and that He has made provision for our eternal salvation by sending Christ to die for our sins that we could live through His death. The only ones that will be lost are those who refuse to do as God encourages, and that is to confess their sins and turn from them. Of course you can not confess something if you don't feel that it is a sin, that is why God's word is the best measure of what is sin, and not what we feel or what someone may tell us, no matter how trusted or knowledgeable is. If one refuses to accept God's word than they reject God and His eternal life that He offers. Mind you all we need to do is accept what God's word says, both what is sin and what He offers the sinner for life
Gerald March 18, 2012 at 02:57 AM
David I thought that I made it clear that the texts that you are referring to were texts that in one way or another represented the sacrifice of Christ and what it means to man. Once Christ died the part of God's law that symbolized Christ was fulfilled. Other parts were meant to aid in how God's chosen could better live in this world with out many diseases that afflicted many of the other nations. But all in all, the eternal death of sinners is not something to be taken lightly. Satan would have us think that God is too loving to permit anyone to die. And that thought in and of itself is correct. But, it won't be God deciding the sinner's death. It will be that sinner. Because God has laid the foundation, God has paid the price through the death of Christ. The law stated that the soul that sins will die. But it also accepts the provision of the law that permits another to pay that price for our sins. All we need do is accept His sacrifice in place of ours and give our lives to Him. If anyone dies for eternity, it is their own fault, not God's. He's shown that He loves us by giving His life for us. We can trust Him to keep His promises. Both of forgiveness for our sins and for the salvation of anyone that comes to Him. God has given us direction how to live, and if we follow these directions we will live better lives and happier ones. Both now and for eternity. John, please accept what God says is sin, and come to Him, before it's too late for you and the ones you love.
David March 18, 2012 at 03:02 AM
Gerald, until such time as you give up your multiple sins of eating shrimp, crabs, clams, oysters, rabbit & pork, dressing in mixed fabrics, & continue to live in same household as women in their period, YOU are in a sinful state & inelegible to point out sins in others. Remove the beam out of thy eye before you point at the mote in other's eye, you whitened sepulchre of hypocrisy. Live up to Deuteronomy 22:11, Leviticus 19:19, Deuteronomy 14: 7 - 10, Leviticus 15:19-30, Leviticus 20:18 & Ezekiel 18:5-6 before you point to anybody else's sins.
Gerald March 18, 2012 at 03:27 AM
David even if what you are saying and I am the sinner to beat all sinners, the Bible still confides that homosexuality, bestiality, adultery, lying, stealing, or any other sin,is a sin. And the only way for us to evade the penalty of death is by accepting Christs death for our sins. And allow Him to cleanse us and recreate us.
David March 18, 2012 at 03:45 AM
The penalties for those sins you list is stoning to death (Numbers 15:32-36, Leviticus 20:2-5, Leviticus 20:27, Leviticus 24:10-16, Deuteronomy 17:2-7, Deuteronomy 13:7-12, Deuteronomy 21,18-21, Deuteronomy 22:13-21 & Deuteronomy 22:23-24). Since you claim to be so scripturally-bound, I presume you mean ALL homosexuals, adulterers, liars, thiefs & bestializers are to be put to death. Well, remember to add anyone who curses, disobedient/willful/petulant children, people with tatoos, believers in astrology, women who are not virgins before their marriage, anyone having premarital sex & anyone who transacts business on the sabbath, because according to Numbers 15:32-36, Leviticus 20:2-5, Leviticus 20:27, Leviticus 24:10-16, Deuteronomy 17:2-7, Deuteronomy 13:7-12, Deuteronomy 21,18-21, Deuteronomy 22:13-21 & Deuteronomy 22:23-24 that is their penalty too. Ditto to wearers of mixed fabrics, eaters of shrimp, crabs, clams, oysters, rabbit & pork such as yourself!
Gerald March 18, 2012 at 04:06 AM
I'm afraid David that the penalty that you are talking about, is a slap on the wrist compared to the fate that awaits all those who chose to ignore God's offer of forgiveness. It's the loss of eternal life. The loss of life in this world when we go to the grave, right now means only a sleep. A sleep the ends at the end of time for this earth when our soon returning King breaks through the clouds and wakes up the dead with the shout of the Archangel when the dead in Christ shall rise first. But then later after the 1000 years of devastation of this earth when Christ awakens all those who refused His offer of forgiveness, and they finally see how they refused His death for their sins and completely blown off His offer of eternal life. Only to be tossed into the lake of fire, for a time and finally to be erased from existence for all eternity. No, the first death before Christ comes back is nothing compared to the one that awaits those who awakens after the 1000 years. But it's still not too late for us today. All we have to do is accept Christ's death in place of ours. Ask Him today and invite anyone else that would go to Him.
David March 18, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Gerald, the question remains, do you agree with scripture that ALL homosexuals, adulterers, liars, thiefs, bestializers, anyone who curses, disobedient/willful/petulant children, people with tatoos, believers in astrology, women who are not virgins before their marriage, anyone having premarital sex, anyone who transacts business on the sabbath, wearers of mixed fabrics, eaters of shrimp, crabs, clams, oysters, rabbit & pork will be stoned to death?


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