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Adoption Issues in the US

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Did you hear the news about Angelina Jolie adopting a baby and Rosie O'Donnell coming out of the closet as a gay parent?

Angelina Jolie and her hubby, Billy Bob Thornton, have adopted a seven month-old baby boy from Cambodia. Angelina's son is with her in Africa where she's working on a movie. Although the new parents couldn't be happier with their adopted son, Maddox, the couple can't bring him into the US at this time. The US Embassy hasn't approved the adoption and Maddox doesn't have an American visa so he's not allowed into the country.

In December of 2001, the US government banned the adoption of babies from Cambodia cuz of illegal activity involving the sale of babies to orphanages (and in some cases kidnapping.) Adoption applications that were submitted before December are being processed (on a case by case basis) to make sure the kids really are orphans. According to US Ambassador, Kent Wiedemann, it could take between a couple of weeks to a couple of months before Maddox's case is sorted out.

There are a lot of kids in Cambodia who need a home. What will happen to these children now that the US has banned adoption from Cambodia? I don't think there should be a ban on adopting but I do think the US government should work with the Cambodian government to stop the selling of babies. Only truly orphaned kids should be adopted... but I guess that's the issue. The US is having a hard time figuring out who is and isn't an orphan. What about the Cambodian government? Can the US trust their judgement? According to the US, the Cambodian government has decreed that illegal adoption is a no-no... the problem is that there are corrupt politicians and agents who will take a bribe and then turn a blind eye to illegal adoptions.

Lucky for Angelina and Billy Bob, they slipped under the wire by applying prior to the December deadline. US officials will decide their fate just like any other adopting family (without regard to their celeb status.)

In other adoption-related news, Rosie O'Donnell, a mother of three adopted children, came out and told the world that she is gay in order to support a couple of gay foster parents (Steve Lofton and Roger Croteau) in Florida. Rosie O'Donnell wants to bring attention to gay adoptions and a law in Florida that doesn't allow gay couples to adopt. Although Rosie's permanent address is Miami, Florida, she adopted her three kids - Parker, Chelsea and Blake - in another state.

Steve and Roger are raising five HIV positive kids and three of the five kids are foster children. The state of Florida told them they had to give up Bert, a child they've been fostering for 10 years. The couple wants to adopt Bert but they can't cuz they're gay.

Isn't the most important issue to have two parents who love you? Does it really matter if a child has two mommies or two daddies? Just because a couple is of the same sex doesn't mean their child will be gay. And what's wrong with being gay? Well, for one thing, prejudice! Even Rosie said she would rather her kids be straight than gay cuz of the prejudice gay peeps still have to deal with. And why does Rosie say that... cuz, like any good parent, she wants the very best for her children. As for Bert's adoption - the most important thing is that Steve and Roger love their kids a ton. They've cared for and loved five sick children. How many couples, straight or gay, would be willing to take on such a big responsibility? Steve and Roger have done more than most straight people applying for adoption. They have proven their dedication, love and ability to provide a healthy and stable home for their kids. Florida should congratulate them not punish them with outdated laws and narrowminded 'tudes!

What do you think of these two situations? Should Americans be able to adopt kids from Cambodia? Should gay parents be able to adopt? Do you think Rosie O'Donnell coming out will help same-sex couples with adoptions?

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