Post submitted by JP Regis, Manager, HRC’s Children, Youth & Families Program
Throughout November, HRC is proud to celebrate National Adoption Month (NAM), a nationwide effort to bring awareness to the more than 400,000 children and youth waiting for a permanent family.
This month is an opportunity to tell the stories of adoptive families around the country. In connection with HRC’s celebration of Transgender Awareness Week (November 14-18) we are thrilled to share the story of an adoptive family in Florida in which one of the parents happens to be transgender.
Kari and Quinn got married back in 2011. Two years after they married, Quinn began transitioning to his true gender. About a year into Quinn’s transition, the couple had an opportunity to adopt a son and start their family. After doing their research, Kari and Quinn found Connecting Hearts Adoption Services, one of HRC’s All Children – All Families certified-Leader agencies and, with the agency’s help, Kari and Quinn were able to adopt Tristan.
The couple spoke to HRC and reflected on how welcomed they felt working with Amy Imber, the director at Connecting Hearts Adoption Services:
“She put us at ease in what could have been a hard situation as a transgender couple adopting in the South. If there was anything she did not completely understand, she made sure to ask questions. Never once did we feel judged, incompetent, or uncomfortable during the whole process.”
For adoption and foster care agencies that may be working to build their capacity to better support transgender parents, Kari and Quinn advise agencies to avoid making assumptions by asking the appropriate questions:
“We would rather you have our answers, than your assumptions. Transgender people are just like any other human beings on the planet, we are in need of compassion and understanding.”
Kari and Quinn just celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary and their eighth year together. They are thrilled to have started their family through adoption and had this to say to other trans couples looking to adopt:
“Do your research, recognize your allies, and don’t be scared to venture into uncharted waters– sometimes that’s the only way you ever make it to port. Follow your instincts and gut feelings. If the agency or people you are working with doesn’t feel right, choose differently.”
HRC’s All Children – All Families works with agencies like Connecting Hearts Adoption Services around the country to help improve their capacity to work with LGBTQ families like Kari and Quinn’s. Visit here to find foster care and adoption agencies that have worked to improve their LGBTQ cultural competency.
To see more Transgender Awareness Week content, visit www.hrc.im/TransAwarenessWeek.