Re: Facebook story: “Parents Put 16 Year Old Daughter Up for Adoption After Learning She is Gay”
There’s a new story circulating via Facebook claiming that a 16 year-old girl named April Chadwell was placed for adoption by her parents because she is gay. The story claims the family is in “Southern Carolina” and decided to offer her for adoption after much prayer and advice from their church. Here’s the story, which shows a photo of anguished parents, heads bowed:
A Southern California couple have made national news by being the first parents to put their child up for adoption due to their sexuality. Usually parents give up their children because they can’t raise them due to finances or because they are young and don’t have the mental ability to bring up a child. Kids are also usually given up for adoption at a young age, but April Chadwell is barely16years- old and has been listed as legally adoptable by the state of Southern Carolina. Mrs. Chadwell released a statement saying “It was a tough choice to give up our daughter to the state, but we don’t know how to handle someone who decides to live a lifestyle that we do not agree with.” The Chadwells said they had help from their local church, who prayed for weeks seeking guidance for the couple and came to the conclusion that it would be best to let the child go in hopes of being adopted by a gay friendly family.
As the mother of two adopted children, one gay, I found the story most disturbing. In light of the studies that The Family Acceptance Project, led by Caitlin Ryan at San Francisco State, indicate, lesbian, gay, and bisexual children whose sexual orientation during adolescence is not accepted by their families have low self-esteem. They were 8.4 times more likely to report depression, 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs and attempt suicide. Forty percent of the homeless kids on the streets are GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) and were kicked out of or left their homes because their parents wouldn’t love them unconditionally once they found out their children’s sexual orientation.
This is No Laughing Matter!
Upon googling the author of this story, Tyson Bowers III, I found out Bowers is a pseudonym for Bryan Butvids, part-owner with Kirwin Watson of a site called Christwire.org. It is the leading Internet site for ultraconservative Christian news, commentary, and weather reportage. The site’s basic concept, according to The New York Times, 2008, is “to see how far we can get people to believe our nonsense.”
The Christwire.org. site that attracts 27 million visitors is one big joke. I found this out on snopes .com, but I didn’t find it at all amusing when I read the tale. It could have been true as rejection of GLBT kids is so common, especially in the Bible Belt. I believed Butvid’s nonsense, but truth is had I not delved further into the author and article, I would have carried around the despair for days. For those of us who have adopted children, gay children, the Chadwells hit a little too close to home.
Call it satire, parody, but maybe you need a disclaimer or filter?
When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know
For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.