In Need of a Home
Bert was born in 1991. He tested positive for HIV and had been put up for adoption. At nine weeks old, Bert was placed in the care of foster parents Steven Lofton and Roger Croteau, who, at the time, had two other foster children. Lofton and Croteau lived in Miami, Florida with their three foster children. In order to spend more quality time raising his foster children, Lofton quit his job and became a stay at home Dad. Their lives were going well and by age three, Bert had tested negative for HIV, and was now considered "adoptable" by the state of Florida. (Let Him Stay 3) A social worker who worked with the family took notice of how well Bert was doing in Lofton and Croteau's care, and recommended that they try to adopt Bert. Lofton and Croteau were hesitant in completing the application for Bert's adoption.
What was the reason for hesitation? The state of Florida prohibits homosexual couples from adopting children. (Let Him Stay3) Lofton described his relationship with Bert by saying, "I've been his parent everyday...everyday I wake him up in the morning and help him get dressed and ready for school. Everyday I help him with homework. I make sure he is safe. He calls me Dad. I love him deeply and want to protect him. But I cannot protect him unless I can adopt him." (Let Him Stay)
Currently, 22 states in the U.S. allow gay adoption. The ability of gay and lesbian couples to adopt children is currently decided on a state level, by state and local adoption agencies and courts. These states base their judgments on "the best interest of the child" standard. (ACLU Fact Sheet) The child's best interest not only requires love, stability, and support...