An Open Letter to Rick Santorum

Dear Mr. Santorum,

You were recently quoted as saying that a jailed parent would be better for a child than being raised by a same-sex couple.  You noted that, if a same-sex couple were to raise a child, they would be “robbing children of something they need, they deserve, they have a right to.”  You continued, asserting that “You may rationalize that that isn’t true, but in your own life and in your own heart, you know it’s true.”

Mr. Santorum, the only reason my partner Russ and I even have one of our children is because that boy’s birth parents thought it appropriate, when he was a mere six months old, to take him to a crack house, which was then raided by police.  He was promptly placed into foster care, and numerous attempts were made to reunite him with his birth parents.  However, as one was incarcerated due to attempted murder and the other would not submit to drug testing, that was difficult to achieve.  In fact, when they placed this boy into his birth mother’s arms, he would burst into tears.  Further, prior to his crack house adventure, his birth mother found time to pierce both his ears, but could not see fit to give him adequate nutritional care, nor to fix his club feet.

Our other child, in case you are wondering, had a much easier start in life.  His birth mother recognized, while still pregnant, that her situation was not the optimum one in which to raise a child, and reached out to us, two white gay men, to whom she entrusted her African American baby.  My bond with her was so strong that she allowed me to be in the delivery room when my son was born, and I am forever grateful for the gift she gave us.

Apparently, though, you feel that you know better, and that her long-considered, heartbreaking choice was not the best option.  Would you have preferred that she have  instead struggled to raise her son anyway, when she fully realized she was ill-equipped to do so?  Would you also have preferred that my other son have remained with his birth parents, given their ongoing issues with the law, drug use, and poor parenting decisions?

Perhaps, Mr. Santorum, you are merely indulging in a hypothetical discussion of “what is best for the child.”  I’d be more than happy to have just such a discussion, once every child who needs a home has one.  Then we can talk gay households versus straight, and how all studies confirm that it is not who is in the household that matters, so much as how a child is raised, loved, and taught.  You may also be unaware that there are approximately 100,000 foster care children awaiting adoption, and one study estimates that over 2 million LGBT individuals have considered adoption, but many cannot, given their discriminatory state laws.  Do the math, Mr. Santorum.  Give each kid a home, then let’s talk about “best.”

Ultimately, Mr. Santorum, I’m sorry if our parenting skills or situation don’t meet your rigid requirements of what you deem “appropriate.”  Neither my partner nor I are perfect, nor have we ever claimed to be.  We’ve made mistakes during our 12 years of parenting, and will likely make many more over the years to come.  Nevertheless, I’m happy to report that youngest child, who could barely walk when we first got him due to the surgery needed to correct his club feet, is now an avid dancer and terrific runner. This same child, whom first greeted us with a vacant stare and could hardly communicate, is now is a happy, lively, and chatty 9-year old, whom we can barely shut up.

Mr. Santorum, I’m sorry if you feel I’m not a good parent, but I’m hopeful that one day our boys will disagree.

Sincerely,
Kergan Edwards-Stout

UPDATE: Since I wrote this, Huffington Post graciously picked it up, and I appreciate the wonderful notes and comments from everyone.  To those who have written to note that we don’t need to worry about Mr. Santorum, due to his current lackluster showing, keep in mind that he is being mentioned as a possible VP for Romney, to rally their base.  Which would mean, of course, that he would still be influential, and next in line for President!  Again, thank you all for your support!

92 Responses

  1. Kathy

    Hello,

    I read your this story. I have not seen you since high school but I do periodically read your blog. I read this story and was touched. You sound like wonderful parents. What caring people you are. You have enriched these boys lives how lucky they are to have you as well. What a great letter…If Mr. Santorum keeps this up and his latest attack on women’s reproductive rights I can not see how he will win.

    Kathy McCartney

    February 21, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    • Thanks, Kathy! I really appreciate your support and thoughtful note! Let’s keep our fingers crossed on Santorum–I’m still amazed he’s doing as well as he is!

      February 21, 2012 at 2:38 pm

  2. I love this letter… there are a LOT of people out there who should really read this. What a great family you 4 are!

    February 17, 2012 at 8:54 pm

    • Thanks, Brahm! I’m really happy so many folks have read it and responded. Only by telling our stories can we fully make a change in the world!

      February 18, 2012 at 9:37 am

  3. Lyndsay

    This is truly an amazing and inspirational letter. I’m so grateful to you men (all four of you) to have the courage to write something like this. ??Those kids are extremely lucky and deserving to have beautiful parents like you, I only wish that someday kids in foster homes around the world will have the same love and support that you portray to your children.

    Thank you, SO SO much. I can only hope that I am as real and passionate as you are when I start my life as a mother!

    February 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

  4. S. Muramoto-Steele

    A standing ovation!

    January 18, 2012 at 8:31 am

  5. Lynn/PA

    Thank you. Thank you for writing and sharing this with the public. I couldn’t agree with you more – and that’s coming from someone who has never walked a day in your shoes, nor your beautiful children’s shoes.
    Politics at their best – and I am thankful you spoke up!

    January 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

  6. Ro

    “When ignorance is bliss, tis folly to be wise.”- Thomas Gray

    Thank you for epitomizing this phrase with your letter and compassion for humanity. I have sent this to many, and know that they will be just as touched as I was when I read it. How refreshing it is to know that there are people like you in the world, spreading love through good parenting and decency. Best of luck to you and your beautiful family.

    January 15, 2012 at 4:42 pm

  7. Kim

    As I said when I forwarded this to my husband, this is a more grown-up response to Santorum than inventing a defintion of his last name (although I confess to googling it and clicking) and far more moving.

    Before my husband and I — both from traditionally religious homes — married, we made sure the other one would be fine if we had a child who was gay. And discussed how we would have to protect them from some members of our extended families.

    Turns out two of our children are on the autistic spectrum and have been taunted with the labels of “gay” and “lesbo” as insults in middle school. I feel equally bad for the children listening who are gay as I do my bullied children.

    As a resident of the state that unleashed this man on the country, all I can say is he was senator when I got here and I helped campaign to get him out. Sorry he wound up on the national scene *sigh*

    January 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

    • To me, respect needs to cross all elements of our society. We may not like or approve of any particular view, religion, political affiliation, etc., but it is essential we find a way to treat each other respectfully–which is not always easy to do.

      It sounds as if you and your husband laid a great foundation on which to parent–most people don’t even discuss how they’ll parent or the kind of environment they want to establish. My hat is off to you both!

      Thanks for the great note!

      January 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

  8. Lynn

    Thank you. Last year my 16yo son left me a note one day as he left for school. The letter told me he was gay and that he knew I would understand and he thought it was time he said it. I did exactly what I had done for the past 16 years when I felt he needed a little pick me up. I went and bought his favorite cookies and had them waiting for him when he got home. Told him I loved him and I still expected grandchildren.

    I’m hoping that people like you help create a new attitude about gays, marriage, and adoption so those coming behind you can continue on.

    Your family is beautiful. Thanks for sharing them with us.

    January 13, 2012 at 10:57 am

    • Lynn, what a great job of parenting! Interestingly, the note just before yours was not so supportive, and I ended up deleting it, as it continued to repeat old, long discounted ideas about being gay being “preventable and treatable”. It’s hard to believe that folks continue to cling to such outdated thinking, given that all scientific evidence proves contrary.

      Give your son a hug from us–he’s lucky to have you!

      January 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

  9. What a lovely family you have! Thank you for your post.

    January 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

  10. I know I’m a grown woman, but will you two be my parents? Please? Such lucky boys.

    Oh and Romney will get his ass kicked by Obama, it will be a good fight, but ultimately, Romney will lose. Especially if he picks Santorum. Fingers crossed!

    January 13, 2012 at 8:28 am

  11. A child needs love compassion and understanding.They need a firm guiding hand that helps them along as they may sometimes stumble.Who cares if their parents are two women,two men,a woman and a man,a transgendered woman and a man and on and on.WHO CARES.So long as the child has a loving home who cares! Your letter brought tears to my eyes.

    The politicians that pay lip service to the largest supported and lobbyist groups may have a loud voice but the loudest voice of all is love.You have that.Thank you for giving your children a loving home.Thank you so much for speaking out.

    Just thank you.

    January 13, 2012 at 7:14 am

  12. Xenda Lindel

    I am so glad you have those two little boys I can barely sit still. How lucky you all are.

    Romney’s drive with his terrified dog tied to the top of his car is news now–maybe that will keep him out of the presidential race. One can only hope.

    Bunches of love and luck to your family going forward.

    January 13, 2012 at 6:20 am

    • Thank you for your note–I sure hope you’re right about Romney–Kind of a scary thought! Take care, Kergan

      January 13, 2012 at 8:50 am

  13. Thank you very much for writing this letter. It was long overdo and I am happy that you had the strength to do it. I am sure it was a hard letter to write an keep your cool about what you were trying to get across. My partner and I had a similar situation, with a drug addict mother and a father that was in jail for kidnapping and terroristic threats. Yet, the NJ court system took almost 4 years from the time we were placed with him at 10 days of age and addicted to four drugs that we know of, for us to finally adopt him. We had the mother’s family on our side and yet the conservative court system we have still dug their heals trying to unite him with her despite our son’s refusal to go at times. Now he is thriving 8 yo. God Bless you guys, Bruce

    January 13, 2012 at 5:16 am

    • Bruce, thank you so much for your note, and for doing what is essential for the well-being of your son. You are indeed blessed! – Kergan

      January 13, 2012 at 8:55 am

  14. donna

    Kudos to you! Only by speaking out to those who would overpower us with their bigotry will be ever get to where we can value people as people, not by their race, hair style, gender, economic level or sexual orientation. I’d like to share a quote I really like …

    “What is certain is that our country is full of young people (who) are not blinded by the fears and prejudices of their parents’ generation. They don’t need everyone to look and sound just like them. And one day soon, they will be the ones in charge.” Connie Schultz, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland

    There is hope!

    January 12, 2012 at 6:38 pm

  15. Kathleen

    As the proud mother of a son who is gay, I thank you for sharing your story. My son wants to be a father someday and I cannot wait to be a grandmother. Our family is family based on love, first and foremost-that is what is best for a child!

    Thank you again,
    Kathleen

    January 12, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    • Totally agree! And the fact that your son wants to parent is a direct tribute to you! Best wishes, Kergan

      January 12, 2012 at 6:36 pm

  16. You rule. The world needs more parents in the world like the both of you.

    January 12, 2012 at 3:42 pm

  17. d julien

    Bravo and thank you!

    January 12, 2012 at 12:11 pm

  18. Carl Strauser

    Kergan:

    Amen and thanks for speaking up. The more of us talking and talking and talking about the state of children in foster care (atrocious) and the need for forever parents, the better things will become (I fervently hope).

    My husband and I adopted via foster care 9 years ago. I am happy to say that Hennepin County in Minnesota is actively seeking parents from LGBTQ community via advertisements and literature.

    I have felt and said many of the same words you expressed so eloquently. My family was born in the tragedy that was my sons’ experiences with their birth parents. We, too, feel we are imperfect and make mistakes; however, we continue to strive to be better and to be our children’s strongest advocates.

    Bravo and keep up the keeping up.

    You and your family rock.

    January 12, 2012 at 11:54 am

    • Thank you so much for the great note. Congratulations on your boys–both fun and a lot of work, right?!? :)

      We need to keep getting our stories out there, and change some hearts and minds!

      January 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm

      • Carl Strauser

        Yes, boys are a lot of work/worry (I have the grey in my beard to prove it) and a lot of fun (I laugh a lot every day and coaching their sports teams has been very rewarding).

        Thanks again for all you are doing.

        Carl

        PS I LOVE your family photos – those are some handsome boys.

        January 13, 2012 at 10:15 am

        • Thanks–I somehow got stuck coaching soccer last year, which I know nothing about, because no one else would do it! Turns out, we made it to the regional playoffs–where we lost every game–but the kids had a blast, as did I! :)

          January 13, 2012 at 10:43 am

  19. Susan Hoag

    I love your family! Can I adopt ALL OF YOU?
    :-)

    Every time I hear the things these pinheads (Rick Santorum et al.) say, I want to escape to another dimension! As a child who was raised by heterosexual parents; I feel I have a right to say that BEING A HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE DOES NOT NECESSARILY MAKE YOU GOOD PARENTS! Sorry about the shouting, I just can’t help it. My parents were heterosexual, and Catholic (well, mom was, my father just converted so he could marry mom.)
    That didn’t prevent my father from physically and emotionally abusing all his children and sexually abusing his daughters, while my mother hid from reality in her religion and later in a bottle. I would have been VERY happy with a gay couple who were really interested in me and making sure I had what I needed to survive/succeed. I have seen so many different family incarnations and from what I can tell, as long as those doing the raising are giving love and guiding their children to be constructive, rational human beings, they are performing a BRILLIANT service to our human existence. If they teach environmental responsibility and empathy, they are solid gold!
    Looks like you are doing a good job! Thanks!!

    Sue~

    January 12, 2012 at 10:36 am

    • Sometimes I think that parenting shouldn’t be considered a right. You have to get a license to drive a car, but anyone able to physically create a baby on their own can do so, without really thinking about it. To do it right, parenting is hard. You really have to put all of your thought into it, which so many seem unwilling to do.

      Clearly, there are some bad gay parents out there, just as straight, so sexuality doesn’t play a role in it. Love, time, support, and direction do.

      It sounds as if, despite your challenges, you’ve come out the other side, and I send you all of my good wishes. Thank you for your note of support!

      January 12, 2012 at 12:46 pm

  20. L Phil

    I wish much love to you and your family. Your letter was beautiful and your boys are lucky to have such a great role model in their lives.

    I have no doubt that some day they too will disagree with Santorum.

    January 12, 2012 at 10:27 am

    • Thank you so much! I appreciate your taking the time to write me with such kind words. Take care, Kergan

      January 12, 2012 at 12:47 pm

  21. Polly Keniston

    What an amazing story. You are the true definition of family.

    January 12, 2012 at 6:39 am

  22. Meg

    What a beautifully written letter– and my heart smiled to see the picture of you and your family!! You all look so happy, you clearly belong to one another :)

    I grew up in Decatur, GA which is fairly liberal, and the gay couples we all knew were highly regarded in the area because they were willing to adopt “at risk” and “special needs” kids, the kids that nobody else wanted. It never made sense to me that people wouldn’t want a child to grow up in a full and loving household! Even my crotchety old grandparents, from N and S Alabama, wanted to know why “those nice gays” couldn’t adopt a kid who needed a home!

    Now I struggle with my husband’s family (as does he) who don’t think that a friend in an abusive marriage should leave because kids need two parents, but seem to think that kids are better off in an orphanage than being raised by a same sex couple! Then, his sister adopted three kids because so many kids need homes, but also doesn’t believe that single people or gay couples should adopt.

    I’m so glad that there are people like you who can put their argument so eloquently and personally, and I hope that you and your family continue to be happy and healthy!

    January 11, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    • My family is southern through and through, and I have relatives in Decatur, so I know exactly the issues at play. Happily, it sounds as if you and your husband are on the right side of the fight. I sure hope your friend manages to find some peaceful way of moving forward–Recovering from that kind of trauma is difficult to achieve.

      I fully support you and hope your friend finds a better path forward!

      January 11, 2012 at 9:22 pm

  23. Dana Christensen

    As an adoptive mom of four- one caucasion, 3 bi-racial, I just want to say a huge thank you for your determined and loving parenting of your two handsome and lucky-to-have you sons! As a human being I want to say I am glad that you are with the man you love and I am sorry for the ignorance of the ones who have an issue with it. Love is beautiful in all forms and colors. May you live a richly blessed life!

    January 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    • Many thanks for your kind note, and congratulations on your children! Not sure I could handle four–two feels like a lot! I really treasure your note and send you my best wishes!

      January 11, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  24. Kelly

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful story. I am am also an adoptive Mom of children from foster care. I am also a HUGE supporter of gay adoption. That may not shock you, what may though is that I am also a member of the LDS church :) My view point may not be popular among some, but I know it is the right one. ALL children deserve a loving home. The male/female one that foster kids came from obviously couldn’t provide that so what makes it so perfect? Your sons are very blessed to have two loving parents. Keep up the great work :)

    January 11, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    • Thanks, Kelly, but I’m not surprised! Some of the nicest folks I’ve ever met are LDS, and just like the other religions, they’ll come around some day. They, more than most, focus on and support the concept of family, and eventually I believe they’ll embrace this, like so many others. It’s all about the kids, right? Hard to argue with that! Thank you for the note, and for being a fost-adopt mom. You’re awesome!

      January 11, 2012 at 7:53 pm

  25. JCG

    What a beautiful declaration of the right of all humans to find a loving, stable home. As the adoptive parent of a six year-old child, any roadblock put between a child and a loving home by “well-meaning” adults in order for those adults to advance a politcal or social agenda is a shameful and dispicable crime.

    Carry on with your beautiful family. We’re solidly behind…no…right in step with you all, arms locked.

    January 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

  26. Angel Smith

    Dear Mr. Edwards-Stout,

    Such a wonderful, wonderful letter. I am a 28 year old black mother of two mixed(very light skinned little boys). Their dad was abusive, physically, emotionally, and mentally, and i struggled with him and raising my sons for five years. When I was 23 I finally got the strength to leave and become a single parent. I lived in domestic violence shelters, apartment after apartment, and worked three jobs to support my boys. I tried to date for the next five years and kept finding fault with one man or another for various reasons. In May of 2011 I found my now partner Katie. Having never dated a woman before I was intitally filled with misgivings. But I soon fell in love with this amazing woman who was caring, loving, loyal, and kind. Best part is she is a wonderful Stepmom to my two sons. Being a parent comes from the heart and in my partners case it overflows from her heart. It saddens me to hear and read so many reports about the negativity of gay marriage and gay parenting when, in my situation and history, where my sons dad would not and could not love them, this woman does and we are grateful and blessed everyday because of her love. Your letter was inspiring and encouraging which is why I chose to share my letter with you. I hope that if you recieve other letters from gay parents like ourselves that you will send a follow up letter to Mr. Santorum and other political leaders who have such a vocal opinion and hand in our future.

    Truly,

    Angel Smith

    January 11, 2012 at 9:37 am

    • Wow–what a great note and life you’ve led! It sounds like you’ve grown and evolved so much, and your kids are all the better for it!

      I sure hope Mr. Santorum gets the memo, but my hunch is that, even if he did, his comments are pure calculation, designed to rally his base–which makes him evil in my book.

      Thanks for the kind words, and best wishes to you!
      Kergan

      January 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

  27. Vickie Zalesak

    Dear Mr. Edwards-Stout,
    Thank you for your sincere and hearfelt letter. I am a fifty year old mom of 4. I would much rather children be adopted by loving people than be left un-adopted or worse be left with no one at all.

    I also think that it says something really sad about our country, that we the people have to be subjected to what six wealthy white politicians think about raising families and what they deem acceptable or not.

    Whatever happened to just doing the right thing, because it was the right thing. I think you and your partner deserve kudos for adopting and turning a childs life around. Maybe your nine year old will be President someday!
    Hugs and Happiness,
    Vickie Zalesak

    January 11, 2012 at 7:58 am

    • Vickie,
      Thank you so much for the nice note. I wish our country would get its priorities straight: take care of its children, feed the hungry, love the earth–Seems so simple, doesn’t it?

      I appreciate your note!

      January 11, 2012 at 9:16 am

  28. mom

    Thank you for your letter. My son would like to adopt some day when he finds the love of his life and hopefully by that time people will understand that a child needs love not just a male and female in their life. When you read about child abuse it isn’t a gay couple who is abusing the child it’s a hetrosexual father, mother or boyfriend/girlfriend that are being prosecuted. I was a single mom and I raised my 2 boys, am I not acceptable because my boys didn’t have a father in the house? Is he a bad father because he decided he loved someone else? Who made this guy God? or anyone else for that matter.

    Good luck with your boys. One piece of advice – now that they are getting older “not yet” works better than “no”. At least it did for me.

    January 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    • I’m so glad that, as a parent, you get it: Loving your kids is all that matters!

      January 11, 2012 at 12:27 am

  29. I just want to wish you and your family the best. My partner and I adopted two boys, both five years old now, and they are the lights of our lives. Our boys came from a similar background as yours…one of our children was a – for lack of a better term – a crack baby, and our other son’s mother was a drug addict and convicted felon as well. We have raised our two boys since birth.

    As a fellow screenwriter/novelist I applaud your letter to someone I simply cannot find the Chrstianity in my soul to think is anything more than one of the most creepy individuals to grace a political stage. And I would put my parenting skills up against his any day of the week. Any person who opts to have nine children (I won’t get into bringing the dead fetus home…) is not giving each of the children the necessary attention they need. I question his parenting choices. I find Mr. Santorum better equipped to run a cult not a country.

    That’s why I’m glad you wrote your letter. I was moved. And because I know so many gay families who have such a hard time adopting for this creatin to speak so ill against them, to want to crush the chance of a child having loving parents…there’s not a hell deep enough to swallow him.

    Keep fighting the good fight! I’m a fan.

    Bart Baker

    January 10, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    • Thanks, Bart! I’m hopeful that others will open their hearts to the idea that children, above all else, need love. I appreciate your kind note! – Kergan

      January 10, 2012 at 5:35 pm

  30. Dwan McCarthy

    The worst thing about bigotry is that, while the arguments rage on, people find themselves polarizing — arguing that gay people should not be parents, arguing that heterosexuals have screwed up so many kids that gay people must be better parents, etc., etc., etc. The truth is that many of us who love and want our children are absolutely on the same side -we know what it takes to be good parents, and we want that for all children – and what it takes has absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation or gender identity, it has to do with our ability to put ourselves and our selfish concerns aside and put our children first. None of us are perfect, and that’s okay. What’s not okay is attacking and marginalizing people; this hurts all of our children in the end. Thank you for a wonderful letter, and my best wishes to you and your beautiful family.

    January 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    • I couldn’t agree more, Dawn, and the more we keep putting that message out there, the more hearts and minds will be opened!

      I appreciate your note of support,
      Kergan

      January 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

  31. Andrea

    Kergan & Russ,

    First of all, what a great photo of your beautiful family! You look so happy :) I’m so proud of you both for taking on judgemental, close-minded people such as Mr. Santorum! I know several families w/parent(s)/caregivers who are outside of what many have been brought up or brain-washed to believe is “proper”, “normal”, “acceptable”, “what’s best” or “politically & religiously correct”…and these families are just as (if not more) loving, supportive, respectful, solid & “normal” as those who have one man, one woman, married parents! Sexual orientation, age, race, disability, or marital status…none of these things should keep someone from adopting or fostering a child, if all of the other impt. criteria are met.

    Keep up the good fight & hopefully, one day in the not-so-distant future, the discrimination & ignorance will come to an end (or at least improve significantly)! Until then, I wish you & your family the very best :)

    With lots of hugs, faith & well-wishes always,

    Andrea

    January 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm

  32. Nancy Degener

    Beautifully stated. Frankly, I find that the loudest “family values” types feel threatened by same-sex couples who put the general statistics to shame. An interesting article about such statistics: http://feministing.com/2010/11/11/new-study-lesbian-households-produce-a-child-abuse-rate-of-0/?mid=575366

    I think we need more love in this world, not less and biological parents aren’t automatically the best for any child. Biology doesn’t make for good parenting or for a loving household. I was adopted 45 years ago. I knew how wanted I was, and was always secure with my place in my family.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    • Nancy, Thank you for your note! I’m glad to hear how you feel about adoption, and hope that my kids feel the same. For me, it doesn’t matter who is doing the loving, so much is that the child receives it. No parent is perfect, but love can solve a whole host of problems.

      Thank you!

      January 10, 2012 at 3:10 pm

  33. Beacon80

    This just reminds me of a window sticker I saw during the whole Proposition 8 mess. It had a picture of a pretty little boy and girl and read “We want a Mommy AND a Daddy. Vote Yes on Prop 8.”

    The ridiculousness of this set me off than any more of the insanity around Prop 8 did. For starters, while Prop 8 would indeed make it more difficult for gay couples to adopt, that was not the point in the proposition at all.

    More importantly, even assuming that a child raised by a heterosexual couple will be better off than one raised by a gay couple (I don’t believe this for a second, but we’ll go with this assumption for the sake of this argument), that doesn’t mean that a child is better off bouncing around the foster system.

    January 10, 2012 at 8:35 am

    • I’ll tell you, living in Orange County, it was scary driving around in our area during the Prop 8 battle and seeing the sea of Yes signs. I plastered our car with NO messages on the windows, etc., and had people in cars next to us shouting mean things while my kids were in the backseat.

      When will we all learn that only through love and respect will we ever gain empathy and understanding?

      Thanks for your note!

      January 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

  34. Scott Rose

    This is my entry in the book contest:
    Scott Rose · Top Commenter
    I arrived here having read author Kergan Edwards-Stout’s open letter to Sick Santorum — and delighted as I was over seeing Mr. Frothy told to go fuck himself — I was even more pleased by the evident love Kergan and his partner are putting into their children as they raise them. That letter may not be an actual book, but it contains descriptions of events, people and feelings that easily could be the basis of a novel. And so, with kind permission to bend the rules of this contest, I want to cite Edwards-Stout’s open letter to the gay bashing doofus heterosexist theocRAT bigot from Pennsylvania as the last “book” I read. My only regret is that I can’t take Frothy by the lapels of his sweater vest and scream “Go fuck yourself!” directly into his face on Kergan Edwards-Stout’s behalf.

    January 10, 2012 at 7:09 am

    • Scott, Thanks so much for the great note! We love our kids–can’t imagine life without them. Every day we try to help them grow and evolve into upstanding adults, and that makes you feel so protective of them. So when you hear such ignorance, from anyone, it really lights a fuse!

      Funny, but HuffingtonPost picked up the post, but they edited your favorite part! :)

      January 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

  35. Sparky

    You’ll have to excuse Rick Santorum. He grew up near Butler, PA which is widely known as the asshole of Pennsylvania. Clearly his home was too close to the nuclear reactor.

    Your letter was amazing…..telling him off in a nice polite way! Julia Sugarbaker would be proud!

    January 10, 2012 at 7:06 am

    • Both my parents are southern through and through, so I guess that Julia Sugarbaker thing just comes naturally!

      I appreciate your note!

      January 10, 2012 at 4:18 pm

  36. Terry

    Thank you Kergan for sharing your story, I am a gay man that wants to adopt and even now as I search for a job, I am looking for one with an adoption allowance so I can later adopt children with my partner of 3 years–but that will be at a later date when we’ve established ourselves

    It is crazy that people believe that while we are put under the microscope to become parents–gay men and lesbians who choose adoption, that heterosexual individuals with no adopted children believe that we are selfish to do so. It is rhetoric like this that drives anti gay laws

    Thank you for your reasoned response and for sharing your story. I hope one day our children won’t have to hear such filth coming from the mouths of the people that want to represent them in government

    January 10, 2012 at 6:54 am

    • Thanks so much for your note! As hard as it is, the best way we can serve our kids and attempt to create change is to not settle for “flaws and all”, but to keep evolving, growing, and trying to be not “who we are”, but “who we were meant to be.”

      I appreciate your support, and wish you well on your journey!

      January 10, 2012 at 4:21 pm

  37. Bonnie

    I guess what I don’t understand is this…Heterosexual or gay, most folks don’t have sex in front of their kids! Who CARES what goes on in people’s bedrooms!!! That has nothing to do with how a PERSON parents a child! I would assume that most of the poor abused, abandoned and forgotten children out there….don’t come from gay and lesbian homes.
    What is best for the children’s needs is what has been forgotten!

    January 10, 2012 at 5:24 am

    • It is odd that a message so simple as “It’s all about Love” can be so easily be forgotten. My hope is that Mr. Santorum someday reads my letter. You never know–hearts have been opened over much less!

      Thanks, Kergan

      January 10, 2012 at 4:23 pm

  38. David

    Outstanding! First, may i commend you &!your partner for making the best investment of your lives….in your children! You and them will reap untold benefits and happiness. Second, thanks for putting into words what many of us are feeling toward this man.

    January 10, 2012 at 3:24 am

    • Thanks, David. We love our kids and get so protective of them, once I’d heard his comments, I just had to respond.

      Life is too short to settle for ignorance. And even if HIS mind isn’t changed, hopefully this will help change others!

      I appreciate your note!

      January 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

  39. Kaz Patton

    Just…Thank you.

    January 10, 2012 at 12:35 am

  40. Raine

    Thank you for sharing your story, I was deeply moved by it.

    There are so many unfit, heterosexual biological parents in this world who don’t deserve to be parents at all. Bless you for taking those children into your heart and home and giving them a family that loves and cares for them the way every child needs and deserves.

    Gender has nothing to do with good parenting. The parent’s sexuality has nothing to do with good parenting. Good parenting is just good parenting, just as bad parenting is just bad parenting, regardless whether the parents are heterosexual or homosexual.

    Being there to meet the physical, emotional and psychological needs of a child, teaching them right from wrong, being an active participant in their life and positive influence, giving a child unconditional love, encouragement and support to help them thrive and grow. Those are the things that make a good parent and gender or sexuality has nothing to do with it.

    Sounds to me like you and your partner meet these standards of good parenting far better than many heterosexual, two parent families do these days so BRAVO to you! Your boys are lucky to have two such loving, caring and responsible fathers. :)

    Just my two cents…okay, maybe that was more like a nickels worth. ;)

    January 9, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    • Parenting clearly isn’t for everyone, but for those who feel up to the task, as long as they’re able to give love and guidance to a child, the rest shouldn’t matter.

      I truly appreciate your note–thanks!

      January 10, 2012 at 4:37 pm

  41. Anton

    This is the sweetest, most wonderful thing. I wish there were more people like you in the world.

    January 9, 2012 at 9:30 pm

  42. Varena

    Bless you for taking in a child so many would not want. So many people focus on wanting a baby only. I hope soon there is a federal law allowing gay marriage and states pull their heads out of their asses and let capable parents adopt, regardless of sexual orientation or religion.

    January 9, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    • Our kids are our joy, and clearly the best thing we’ve ever done! Thanks for your note!

      January 10, 2012 at 4:38 pm

  43. Tallulah

    F**king fantastic! XD

    January 9, 2012 at 8:54 pm

  44. Elodie Rouzic

    Just want you to know that, as a bisexual young woman, I totally agree with everything you said in your letter !
    On this picture you look like an awesome and happy family, and I hope that one day, everybody will see you, and all the gay parents, the same way !

    Your letter had been reposted on my twitter ;)

    A lots of support from France ;)

    January 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

  45. Marilyn, I’m happy you reposted–any opportunity to tell my story is appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Kergan

    January 9, 2012 at 5:49 pm

  46. marilyn goodman

    thanks so much for this–i’ve reposted it on my page and in a facebook group that i’m part of- i hope that’s okay!

    marilyn goodman
    (beth goodman mackey’s mom)

    January 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

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