Op-ed: “Adopting my son has brought extraordinary meaning to my life”

Beautiful op-ed piece on Advocate.com by Jake Dekker. 

Jake is the author of One Kid at a Time: A Single Dad, a Boy in Foster Care, and an Adoption.

In the op-ed, Dekker explains why he adopted a ten year old troubled foster child, and how it transformed his life.

Here’s an excerpt:

Why would a 45-year-old gay man with a lovely home, a six-figure income, and lots of free time adopt a troubled foster child? Although I couldn’t predict it then, adopting my son has brought extraordinary meaning and healing to my life. I discovered that my sexuality has nothing to do with whether I am a good parent.

Because I followed my childhood dream of being a father, my son was saved from a life of foster homes, gangs, overmedication and abuse. Four years later, my 14-year-old is a typical high school freshman. His behavior issues are mostly gone, and I love him as much as I can imagine loving any daughter or son.

Yet in some states, my son would still be suffering in foster care because gay men and women aren’t allowed to adopt. My son and I, and many other families, are proof that gay men and women can make excellent parents. It makes no sense to me that some people would rather force a child to grow up in foster care than allow a gay man or woman to provide them a loving home.

As November, National Adoption Month, comes to an end, let’s continue to encourage laws and policies that allow as many foster children to be adopted as possible. The ability to love, protect and provide a permanent home for a child, not their sexual orientation, should determine whether someone can adopt a child.

Read the entire essay at Advocate.com