2 Gay Dads, 12 Happy Kids
UPDATE: This article was originally posted a year ago but I just found a video about the family described here and thought it’s well worth it updating this. Check it out, it below and if anyone ever uses “family values” as an argument against anything regarding gay families or parents, just show them this video…
It’s 11-year-old Andrew’s turn to set the table for dinner, and he deals out 14 paper plates as if they were playing cards. Marcus, 5, climbs onto a bench and announces, "It smells like pancakes." His brother, 3-year-old Cooper, counters, "I think it smells like chicken." "It smells like Ambrose," says Logan, 7, climbing in between Cooper and their sister Ambrose, who’s 4. She glares at the laughing boys. Actually, it smells like spaghetti. A big pot of homemade sauce is bubbling on the stove.
The six littlest children fit on the 9-foot-long bench along one side of the table. Andrew and the four other big kids sit in chairs on the other side. Olivia, the baby of the family, is in a high chair. Daddy sits at one end, Papa at the other. Steven and Roger Ham are raising 12 children, all adopted from foster care, in Arizona, one of the most unlikely places for two gay men to piece together a family.
The Ham family. More photos.
In Arizona, two men can’t be married, nor adopt children together. In his 2008 run for U.S. president, Arizona Sen. John McCain, who with wife Cindy has an adopted daughter, said he opposed allowing gay people to adopt. "I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family, so, no, I don’t believe in gay adoption," McCain said during an appearance in Wisconsin.
That same year, Arizonans approved a ban on gay marriage by 56 percent of the vote. Since 1997, conservative Arizona lawmakers have introduced a half-dozen bills that would keep single people, including gays and lesbians, from becoming foster parents or adopting children in the state’s care, or would move married couples to the top of the waiting list for adoptions. Those attempts -- one as recent as last year -- failed to muster enough votes. But this year was different. On April 18, Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that gives preference to married couples in state and private adoptions, all other criteria being equal. Yet, in 2009, the governor gave Steven and Roger Ham an award for their efforts at keeping siblings in foster care together through adoption.
"As someone who was raised from the age of 10 by a widowed mother, I am well aware that single or unmarried individuals can make wonderful parents," Brewer says. "This legislation merely establishes marital status of adoptive parents among a host of factors to be considered when placing a child." Opponents, however, contend that marriage doesn’t guarantee a stable and loving family. Read on… (Yeah, it’s a pretty long article but it’s worth it)