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Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
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10/6/11  2:51 pm
Commenter: Clifford Clapp

Virginia adoption regulations

Dear Board of Social Services:

I am a Virginia resident, a voter, an uncle who regularly cares for his nephews, a law student, and a gay man.  Being a law student, I will one day have a good, stable home to offer to a child who needs it.  I have helped cousins and siblings raise their children, acting as a role model for 6 children to date.  When deadbeat dads weren't around, I came in to help raise my cousin's kids and show them that to "be a man" means to act with compassion, understanding, and intellect.  I've taught them chess, football, music, baseball, how to tie a tie, and how to tie their laces.  I've changed diapers and dried the tears of broken teenage hearts.

All of that being said, there is no question that I would make an outstanding father one day.  There are currently over 1,000 children awaiting adoption in Virginia.  Placing one with me (when the time comes) would be in the best interest of the child and relieve a burden of the state.  My parenting skills come from experience and a knowledge of what "family" really means, not my sexuality.  Preventing me from forming my own nuclear family like any of my straight relatives would be able to do would be discrimination.  Single or coupled straight people can adopt.  Why not me?  If you go by the 14th Amendment, since there is government action, classification, and injury (see Brown v. Board of Ed. psychology argument), action against gay adoption would be discrimination.  The creation of families and familial rights is left to the state and regardless of an agency's relation to the state, they still act on behalf of the state and should be bound by non-discriminatory policies.  Please guard my right to form a family one day.  It wouldn't just mean something to me.  It would mean something to one of those 1,000 children waiting for a home.  There aren't enough qualified parents as it is.  Why put on a restriction that has nothing to do with parenting ability?

Thank you for your time.


Clifford Clapp

CommentID: 19537