Adoption STAR Founder & CEO Michele Fried
Discrimination: The unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or gender.
I recently asked why we don’t have a separate section on our website for LGBT adoption. Here is what I learned from our founder and CEO, Michele Fried, regarding her thoughts about this:
“Adoption STAR has always been inclusive. Inclusion to me is simple. Everyone may participate. Everyone may receive the support, training, advocacy and resources necessary for the adoption journey.”
Michele believes the Adoption STAR website is clear, that adoption is about the child and a loving family not about whether or not one’s parent is of a particular religion, race, sex, or whether or not they are gay or straight. Adoptive parents may be married couples, unmarried couples or single. Adoptive parents must be responsible, stable and caring adults whom love children and desire to build their family by way of adoption. Families with and without children are welcome.
Michele also pointed out that in addition to “gay adoption sections”, other websites have separate sections for the adoption of Black children, or the adoption of Caucasian children or the adoption of children with Special Needs. Michele again reiterates to me that, “Children are children whether they have different needs or abilities.” Michele further explains that the Child Placement section of the website describes Domestic adoption and International adoption providing separate links to learn more about each one. Why? Because the laws, regulations and policies involved in a domestic adoption or an international adoption are so vastly different that there was a need to separately describe different adoption programs. But Michele does not endorse “gay adoption” as a separate program. “There is really no such thing as gay adoption,” she says, “it is simply called ‘adoption’.”
I am reminded of what my family says when we talk about my older sister. She is a daughter, sister, and friend. She happens to have a disability. She is not my disabled sister or special needs sister. She is just my sister.
For years Michele has heard it all, ‘Which children are your own?’ “They are all my own.” (They just arrived in different ways.) ‘Do you have any real children?’ “I promise you they are all very real.” Or after providing an interview, the reporter may caption a photo with ‘Michele and adopted son.’ It’s just Michele and her son. And if you know Michele and her children, they are “her children.” At the same time she is the first to share her motherhood title with her children’s birth mothers believing that whether parents by birth or adoption, you remain “parents” and that title isn’t and should not be washed away.
Adoption STAR is one of the most inclusive and friendly places I have ever worked. If I may for a moment “classify” or “label” please bear with me since like Michele, I too don’t enjoy labels. But this agency does not need to spout we are LGBT friendly, just look at our staff and Board of Directors and the amazing diverse families we have helped along the way!
One of the things that clearly makes Adoption STAR different from other agencies is the fact that we have such diversity. We pride ourselves on the diversity of our families. The Adoption STAR Difference
Read More on What is Happening at Adoption STAR: Our Calendar of Events for 2013
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