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This week’s Huffington Post Gay Voices RaiseAChild.US Let Love Define Family installment spotlights writer/blogger Rob Watson, the 56-year-old single father of two 11-year-old boys adopted from foster care. Rob Watson, 56, is one of the most visible and vocal LGBT foster/adopt parents in the country. He has published more than 60 articles on his shared blog EvolEquals, most of which have been picked up by Huffington Voice Gay Voices and major LGBT news outlets. The pieces often bear confrontational titles like “A Gay Dad Sounds Off On..,” but Rob’s pieces are anything but political tirades. They are heartfelt, personal stories about his family in which he often discusses how social policies or news events directly impact them. The down-home tone Rob takes is charming and compelling. He wants to change hearts and minds, and doesn’t shy away from engaging powerful opponents. Continue reading Rob Watson’s Story From The Let Love Define Family Series

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On the occasion of National Adoption Month, RaiseAChild.US is launching a national campaign entitled “Let Love Define Family” and is hosting special events in a five-city tour in mid-November and early December. The events will be held in Chicago (November 18), Los Angeles (November 20), Kansas City (November 21), New York City (December 3), and San Francisco (December 5). The evening events will feature an LGBT parent panel and actor/comedian Alec Mapa performing an excerpt from his one-man show “Baby Daddy” about adopting his son from the foster care system.

“The upcoming holiday season is a special time when people think about family and family building,” says RaiseAChild.US founder and CEO Rich Valenza, who adopted a five-year-old girl and six-year-old boy from foster care before founding the organization. “At RaiseAChild.US, we are concerned year-round about the hundreds of thousands of children in foster care. Our goal is to find safe and loving homes for these children and we know that non-traditional family formations are another solid and proven answer to this national crisis.” Continue reading RaiseAChild.US Launches Five-City Tour for National Adoption Month Campaign

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By Rich Bobby, LCSW, director of Little City’s Foster Care & Adoption Program

In the early 2000s, I was working in Florida’s child welfare system and had to take a training to learn about the adoption process in the state.  During the training, one slide struck me so hard that I can still recall it vividly today.

The slide described Florida law: “No person who is homosexual or bisexual shall adopt.”  I literally almost fell out of my seat. In disbelief, I became combative with the trainer and asked if this was really true, because I grew up in Illinois and wasn’t familiar with Florida’s laws. The trainer appeared to be embarrassed by the slide (as I suspect she likely didn’t agree with it either), and responded “Yes, this is true.” Continue reading Love Should Not Be Controversial

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Our “What Makes A Family?” video, commissioned by the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and RaiseAChild.US, was created as an educational tool.  It is designed to assist social workers when presenting foster youth with the possibility of LGBT parents. The three-minute video introduces children from three fost-adopt families in Los Angeles. The kids describe their day-to-day lives full of sports activities, playing with pets, family dinners, and of course homework. At the end, the children introduce their parents, all of whom are LGBT. Continue reading Voices of the children featured in “What Makes A Family?” video

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RaiseAChild.US Releases Video Answer to U.S. Supreme Court Justices Who Believe No Data Exists on Same-Sex Parenting

New Video Cites Three Decades of Research on Quality and Effects of LGBT Parenting

LOS ANGELES, CA–As the nation waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue rulings on two landmark cases affecting marriage equality for gays and lesbians, the spotlight on LGBT-led families brightens. RaiseAChild.US, a nonprofit that encourages the LGBT community to build families through fostering and adoption, has just released a video answering the pressing questions posed by Justices Scalia and Kennedy. Continue reading Three Decades of Research on LGBT Parenting

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Four Boys!

Angela and Megahn had talked about raising children since meeting in 2004. Over six weeks of evening classes, they learned the “ages and stages” of child development, became CPR-certified and heard foster/adoptive parents speak about the process of integrating a child into a home and family. Little did they know that soon, they would be parenting a sibling group of four boys under six! The children are now 8, 6, 4 and 2 years old.

“We are a really good match because we’re active people,” says Angela.  “With four boys, it’s always “Go, go, go!”  We love to have our meals together and there’s naptime, but in between we’ll go on a hike or a bike ride or pull weeds in the garden or wash the car… we are always moving… and we do these things together.  We’ve set-up a really great family routine.” Continue reading Four Boys!

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Gay people rarely become parents by mistake. It takes some careful planning and sometimes, luck. My husband and I have known we wanted to have kids from when we first were dating back in 1992. We were in college, had big plans for our careers and had not a clue on how we could pull it off.

Fast forward to our current domestic life—which is a flurry of dirty laundry, bag lunches, and fingerpaint art on the refrigerator. There was a time when I thought this would never happen for us. Continue reading Our Intentional Family

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With an average of 50 new recruits each month, RaiseAChild.US could not accomplish its work without a sophisticated and reliable database. Start-up organizations often have to improvise with store-bought software that cannot adequately be customized to their field of services or clientele.

During our first campaign in 2011, Los Angeles-based software developer Andy Corrigan stepped forward and offered to customize a solution that would track the lifecycle of a foster/adoptive parent. As a result, we are able to closely follow our recruits and provide assistance along that journey. Continue reading We’ve Got a Field for That!

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