It took the usual nine
months for the proud parents to welcome their first child into
their lives, but not in the traditional way.
We knew we always wanted to have children. It was one of the
things that brought us together,” Cory, 41,said, as he
spoke for him and his partner of 10 years, Mike, 45 (names were
changed). They now have two sons from Southeast Asia, both of
whom were adopted as infants. Jon is 5, and Danny is 3.
It took Cory and Mike, "Daddy" and "Papa" respectively,
nine months to adopt Jon, and then 11 months for Danny.
They adopted the boys through second-parent
adoption (co-parent adoption), which is basically a legal procedure
legal rights for same-sex couples. Since Hawai‘i has
no law supporting co-parent adoption, it was approved through
trial court judge.
Mike, a doctor, decided to adopt the boys under his name
because his professional background would make the process
I think we go through all the same things that any parents would
go through,” Mike said. As with other parents, they had
many of the same concerns. Some were heightened for Cory and
Mike because of their sexual orientation.
Cory said that their main concern had always been, "Would
we be accepted as a family?" Other concerns focused on the
boys: would peers in school accept them? Would they have an identity
crisis? As Cory simply puts it, “We were worried for
They also didn’t know what to expect from their gay friends
when they decided to adopt. “Once you adopt, you won’t
see much of the majority of your gay friends,” said Cory.
He explained that this is because their priorities changed. They
still talk to most of their gay friends, but they aren’t
as close, because their lives are busier.
As it turns out, Cory and Mike have had very positive reaction
from the community.
Friends, co-workers, teachers, and the like have all been
very loving and supportive of their family. Jon goes to school
gets along great with his peers, Cory said. And he added
that Danny is very happy at a preschool play group, which
attends with the other moms and their children.
The boys are happy and Cory said he has only one complaint: “If
Danny sits down at circle time, it will be a blessing!”
But there are people in the community who have reservations
about same-sex adoption. Whether one is uncertain, or against
are questions: how healthy is it for children to grow up
in a family with only one gender, even if one plays "mom" and
the other "dad"?
[Speaking] as a psychotherapist, it is not a good idea….You
need the balance of the two sexes,” said Dr. Vernon Thompson,
a licensed psychologist (1972) who works for the Associates
for Christian Counseling in Honolulu.
Other than the need for both sexes for a child to be healthy,
the most prominent concern is that the child/children will
become gay since their parents are. To that, Cory answered, “I
was raised by two straight parents, and I am gay.”
Although Cory and Mike have had very positive responses
to their family, the people of the United States are still
and lesbian marriages or civil unions.
The Bush Administration has called for a constitutional
amendment banning same-sex marriage, even though both houses
have defeated measures proposing it.
Some see endorsement of the amendment as “the linchpin
in efforts to protect marriage in our country.” So said
Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family. “The president
understands that families formed through the union of one man
and one woman are best for America and America’s children” (Beliefnet
On the other side, Anthony D. Romero, the executive director
of ACLU, opposes such an amendment, saying: “Gays and lesbians
are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends….Amending
the constitution to deny them the same rights we all take for
granted just isn’t very American” (Beliefnet 2004).
But while the American people are fighting that fight,
here in paradise Cory and Mike and Jon and Danny are a
living out the American dream in a beautiful Hawai‘i Kai home
overlooking Moanalua Bay. They have just added a new addition
to their family, Purdy, a boxer adopted from the Hawaiian Humane
Just how same-sex family life will affect the boys is undetermined,
but for now they are loved and provided for by two men
who, no doubt, want only the best for them. They live their
the rest of us, planning family vacations and which schools
they want their boys to be enrolled in, and then determining
turn it is to help them shower before bedtime.
What may be a complex situation to others, Cory simplifies: “Mike
and I are both very private people. We try to have a normal
family life. This one just happens to have two dads.”
For more information visit www.nclrights.org/publications/2ndparentadoptions.htm