12 years working in child protection proved to me how precious those caring people are that adopt at risk children. I would single out among them, folks who have the courage and integrity to adopt teenagers.

Older children are not as cute and cuddly as babies and toddlers and teenagers come with more severe and obvious issues.

Older youth in child protection systems have a difficult time finding families to adopt them. It would make sense that anything our community could do to facilitate their adoption into loving families would be the right thing to do for the child and the community.

What good comes from the Catholic Church taking such a mean position?

In 2006, Boston’s archbishop, Sean P. O’Malley, said that Catholic Charities there would stop its adoption-related work rather than comply with a state law requiring that gay men and lesbians be allowed to adopt children.

And today in the New York Times;

when children’s lives are literally at stake?

Officials from the archdiocese said they feared the law might require them to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples. As a result, they said, the archdiocese would have to abandon its contracts with the city if the law passed.

Abandoning the poor children of Washington DC if the gay marriage bill passes lacks compassion and is everything the Catholic Church does not stand for.

Many of the issues abused and neglected children suffer from are similar to the issues of gays and lesbians. In my experience, abandoned children connect well with adoptive parents from this community.

I have experienced positive adoptions and long term foster care families that might not have happened otherwise if gay and lesbian couples had not stepped forward to speak for an abandoned child.

There is enough pain, poverty, and suffering in our inner cities without religious institutions threatening to heap on more. This threat is over the top and needs to be retracted.

No one wins.

This is one more example of the great need for KARA’s grassroots effort to raise awareness to the needs of America’s at risk children.

Until that happens, children, schools, families and communities, will continue to suffer.

It is a bigger step to convince people that healthy children become healthy citizens, but it is true.

Support at risk children! Become a CASA volunteer or start a KARA group in your community.

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