DADDY & PAPA

Gay Parenting: Fiction vs. Fact

Talkback



This comment area is closed to new submissions. Visit ITVS.org to continue the conversation about this film.



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6/30/06
Katie Sentz
San Leandro

I have never felt so inspired to love. The love documented in this film is something that not enough people experience. I applaud these men for their strength and perseverance, and can only aspire to become as fantastic a parent. Seeing Johnny and William's journey culminate with the arrival of Kenyon filled me with hope; hope that the thousands upon thousands of children without parents will be able to experience LOVE above all things, and that those willing to provide that love will never be denied because of sexual preference. I offer my eternal love and support to these beautiful families.



6/28/06
Lisa Nickerson
Boston, Ma
I have so much respect and admiration for any person that takes a child who is not their own into their homes and loves them, no matter what. I have to say that I empathize so much with the men in this show. I have recently become the guardian of my 16 yr old nephew; I am a single 40 year old woman and I feel the same, albeit probably not as extreme, frustration about having to explain that my nephew is not my own child. I have had to face school administrators being condescending to me and people scoffing at my judgement in taking on a teenage male and my abilities in general. It did seem that many of the men in the show were open to the youngest of children in need, but I would like to urge people to consider older children. Even though I didn't really know my nephew all that well, he has brought so much meaning and happiness into my life and I really appreciate him as an older child/young man. He has enriched my life in so many ways, and I am incredibly rewarded by helping him. He has told me (and I see that) he is so appreciative of having a stable and loving home life. Althought teens are probably much more difficult to influence, it is only that much rewarding to see them succeed at the smallest of endeavors. Again, I so greatly admired all of the parents in this film and congratulations to each of them! I would like to add that older children can also be very rewarding to take care of and are able, in some cases, to greatly appreciate the love and care of an adult...



5/1/06
whitni bentovim
sarasota florida
I would love to see a more recent update on each of the families.I have watched Daddy & Papa several times and fell in love with each family from the first time I saw the show.Can we expect an update soon?



6/27/05
Brentwood, CA
I can't believe I had not caught this great program sooner. Thank you so much for replaying it even years later.

As a child of a lesbian mother raised in SF, I have the benefit of knowing first hand how wrong people are when they say a gay parent is lacking simply because they are gay. I did grow up to be a straight, happily married mother of two... who also happens to be the surrogate mother of three beautiful children being raised by the most amazing (gay) parents I have ever met. I look at our families and see everything right- children who are wanted and loved and cared for to the highest standard.

I realize everyone has a right to their own beliefs, but it is extremely hard for me to sit by and watch someone who has never lived it tell me my family is wrong. Thank you to all the dads in this program for sharing your laughter and tears, and, most importantly, the TRUTH.



4/27/05
Susanna Malmsten
Stockholm, Sweden
Hallo! I am a no lesbian woman who saw the film "Daddy and papa" some weeks ago in television in Sweden. It is a beautiful film that for me shows that what people do makes a diffrence. I had no idea that you hopeless, conservative country which we here in Sweden, nowadays, are making more fun about than we used to do over norwerigen are so open to changes. The film gave me hope for the future. Thank you!



3/30/05
Audra Samford
TEXAS
ITS ABOUT TIME!!!!! I am a lesbian in a 7 year committed relationship raising children NATURALLY! Nothing unatural about loving your children or setting an example of love and committment by two gay parents.The comments made about gay parenting comparing it to incest or perversion is not only ignorantly off the charts but obscene. These are the same ignorant comments made several decades ago of how "unnatural" it is for interacial couples to marry. Same argument same ignorance and hate. Just as those couragious couples loved one another and raised families so will we. LOVE ALWAYS WINS!!! On behalf of the glbt multicultural community and most of all just us plain old parents that love our kids Thank You for educating and enlightening difficult minds.



10/6/04
As an African American I would like to comment on the importance of black children being in touch with their African Heritage. First of all, I think it's safe to say that most African Americans do not celebrate Kwanzaa. They celebrate Christmas the traditional way just as most other Americans do. Most black people in America know little to nothing about their "African Heritage". Just as many whites know practically nothing about their European heritage. "African" culture has little in common with "African American" culture. They're polar opposites. Contrary to popular belief, Black Americans are not that different than White Americans in terms of culture. Sure we have our differences, but so do 'poor' white people and 'rich' white people. It has little to do with race and heritage. I guess what I'm trying to say is that white couples who are considering adopting black chidren need not worry about them losing their identity. If they are exposed to people of their race on a regular basis, have access to black art (literature, music, etc.), and are instilled with a healthy sense of pride, then they will turn out fine. Trying to keep in touch with African customs and traditions, in my opinion, is unnessary.



7/6/04
John
Australia
ive heard alot about this documentary and although ive never seen it i would very much like to im hoping that someday i can buy the video from overseas im also hoping that oneday it will be shown over here on australian television i am a 19 year old suppressed gay guy who is desperately trying to seek all the answeres for my lifestyle and i to want to be a parent someday and have my own biological children through ivf and surrogacy and i might also consider adopting a overseas child oneday to and its something which i have planed to do latter on in life after ive meet the right guy im very interested in gay families and alterantive families here in australia there is not enough information about gay families and same sex parenting so thats why im using the internet to find out about the information for them both world wide and if there are any gay lesbian parents and fmailies out there that can give me advice please do so by emailing me thanks.



6/23/04
Sara Nutter
Minneapolis, MN
As I sat at home this evening, missing my son terribly because I won't see him for just shy of two days, your film truly warmed my heart. I sat with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes nearly the whole hour. You have truly put your finger on what it means to be a parent: Unconditional love, extreme challenges, messy houses, finding other parents with whom you have something in common, and so on. Even we appear as a superficially traditional family, it was comforting to see other families dealing with some of the same issues we face. It was spectacular to see children so deeply loved and cared for. Your film certainly helps to restore some of the faith in human nature that is occasionally lost.

P.S. My husband and son are living it up on the beach while I'm home going to class!



6/23/04
Ms. Obi
Greensboro, North Carolina
I'm a student at UNCG. This summer I was taking a Sociology course and our professor suggested viewing this movie for extra credit since we ran out of time during class meetings. I just wanted to say that I cried when I saw the challenges that gay men face constantly just to do was right. I think that if you love a child that's all it matters. In this case this couples are adopting a child and not influencing their lifestyles. Not only they are facing being gay but also a racist society. I'm in an interracial marriage, and my husband and I face challenges almost everyday, especially with our children. So I can imagine what gay couples go through adopting children out of their race. After watching the movie, I felt motivated. It's good to know that they are making it, and that their children are happy, and love by wonderful "daddies." Thank you for sharing your stories with us, you are certaintly a motivation, and an example of success.



6/23/04
Erskin
Leesburg, Virginia
It is sad that so many people use love as a cover for lies. You cannot have love without a foundation of truth. An addict loves to get high, but that does not mean that it would be right for him to glorify drug use in front of children and claim that nothing is wrong. Where do we draw the line? If two brothers love each other, why shouldn't they be allowed to adopt? If a father and son love each other, why shouldn't they be allowed to adopt? The "love" argument breaks down because it is dishonest. Love is not the criterion for having children. Man and woman is the criterion. Raising children in an unnatural environment is NOT love. Yes, many traditional families have issues. However, placing children in environments involving unnatural relationships is not the answer. Instead of conducting perverted social experiments that will inevitably weaken our society, we should be doing all we can to strengthen traditional families. The result would be more 'loving' homes for children, including those who need to be adopted. Finally, we do need to love gay people; however, promoting gay adoption is not love because the argument is based on fallacy.



6/21/04
RA
New York, New York
I was very moved by the broadcast. It reminded me of all the precious and beautiful children in our country who need a good home with love and care, and the people who are making that happen, from the gay fathers depicted to Dora, the foster mother, and all the other people involved in matching up children with adoptive parents.

The gay fathers depicted were very inspiring, and re-affirmed my conviction that this country is full of wonderful children who just happen not to have a family. All those straight couples who (unfortunately) cannot have children would be wise to learn from these men, who have so generously opened up their homes to the children who need them and who they also, in a way, so desperately need.

I was especially moved by the man who adopted the two brothers. What a blessing to enable two brothers to stay together. What greater gift can you give a child than his/her sibling?

One comment: I do hope the parents depicted are able to find ways to help the children know about and be proud of their ethnicities and heritages. While it may not be initially comfortable for a white gay man to "start celebrating Kwazaa", it may in fact be necessary. While no one can deny that this white man is this black child's "real" father (even the child's grandparents affirm this), this young boy needs also to learn the beautiful parts of his African heritage, so that when he is faced with racism, he will know how to respond, and perhaps more importantly will beforehand be well-armed with a positive respect for his ancestry and history. All that may be needed is an aquaintance with black friends and neighbors and a bit of knowledge about the proud history of Africans in America, a group that this boy is a part of, and can be proud to be a part of.

I speak not as an African-American, but as a white (Jewish-American) woman, who can nonetheless empathize with a child and realizes that a child needs to learn to be proud of who he/she is. A white man can teach a black child that "I am your daddy, and you are my son. But my ancestors came from Europe and yours from Africa many hundreds of years ago. That is why our skin is of different shades." A father, even a white one, can teach his son to be proud of being whoever he is, whether he is black, white, gay, straight, etc. Just as a father can teach his daughter to be proud to be a woman and respect herself for it, a white man can teach his son to respect himself as a black man. It may take a bit of work and self-awareness and even stepping outside the comfort zone at times, but I believe it can be done. After all, what we are really trying to do is help our kids be who they really are, whoever they are, and most importantly be good people and happy with themselves.



4/16/04
Matt
Harrisburg, PA
Hi, I am taking Intro to sociology this semester, and my professor chose to show us your wonderful film. I think that the messages in the film are very powerful. This was a great film, and I know my professor has shown it before in class and will show it many more times in the future. I only hope that in the future the gay community has more opportunities to adopt. There are so many children in the would that are in need of a good home and loving parents, and I believe that gay adoptions are a very good way to give these children the opportunity to grow up in a loving family. Keep up the good work!



7/28/03
Marianne
vernon, ct
Unfortunately I missed the beginning of this program, but when I flipped through the stations it caught my attention and I was sucked in. As a teacher of very young children I am confident in the thought that children just need loving families that will take care of them and help them become good people. If every child had that, those of us who work with young at-risk populations would sleep easier every night. It is absoultely ridiculous that gay adoptions (and marriages) are not legal in all of the US. What right do popiticians have to determine who people are allowed to love?



7/14/03
LISA
NEW HAMPSHIRE
I JUST FINISHED WATCHING THE PROGRAM YOU AIRED ON GAY PARENTS ADOPTING AND RAISING CHILDREN. I THOUGHT THE PROGRAM WAS VERY WELL DONE. WHY SHOULDN'T GAY PEOPLE BE ABLE TO ADOPT AND RAISE CHILDREN;THEY CAN DO IT AS WELL AS ANYBODY ELSE. WE ALL HAVE CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE TO FACE IN LIFE AND WE JUST NEED TO FIND THE SOLUTIONS TO OVERCOME THEM.



7/14/03
Sharon
Hartford, CT
A wonderful film making the all to forgotten point that a child needs a parent to love them unconditionally, not a "mommy and a daddy" or even the same race.

I have a child from my first marriage, her father is absent by his choice, I am both her mother and her father, who is to say she is any better off then the children being raised by 'two daddys' -- I envy those couples who can share the joys and pain of parenting together, I don't have that option. Yet society does not condem me for getting divorced...or tell me I can not raise a child because of it. In fact they will help support me through the welfare program, how ironic. I applaud and am highly respectful of any couple -- gay or straight who choose adoption, I can only hope to instill those same values in my child.

Basic equation that is missing in the red tape and closed minded opinions of others: Parent(s) + love + children = happy homes no color, sexual orientation, or religion matters. Thank you for a chance to understand some of your struggles as I work thorough mine.



7/14/03
Joseph
Cheektowaga,NY
What a different world we all live in 2003. I don't know if I agree or disagree with Gay/Lesbian adoptive parents.



7/14/03
I'm very sorry NOT to have been able to have seen this important film. The OETA has chosen to censor this film, continuing a history of paternalistic programming in the name of money tainted by the church. So. What to do? Well, I'd buy the DVD, except $35 is far to much for a single video. The only other way is to hope that somehow it gets distributed to the rental outlets like Netflix so that it can be seen by everybody who wants it. Perhaps, by then, there'll be a sequel to it, called Mommy and Ma!



7/7/03
Hello, and thank you so much for creating and airing such a beautiful film. Like many who have posted here, I bawled my eyes out at the dedication and love shown by all the dads, especially Kelly Wallace. The one thing that shocked and bothered me was when Doug Houghton commented that he was raising his son in the white culture which he is comfortable with, going on to say that "It isn't like I'm going to celebrate Kawanzaa or something". Isn't it a responsibility of any parent to celebrate and educate yourself if need be about your child's ethnicity? This can only instill pride and identity. It would have been refreshing to hear that he did a bit of research about Kawanzaa and was sharing this with Oscar.



7/7/03
Evan
San Diego, CA
I must say that I truly enjoyed DADDY & PAPA for a number of reasons. My boyfriend and I had ben dating for several weeks before he revealed that he had been previosuly married. Two weeks after that, he told me that he had two children. At the time, I wasn't sure how I felt about it- I mean, gay men with children were outside of the "norm," even in mainstream gay culture. Now, nine years later, I can't imagine life without the children. They're teenagers, and I find myself with the same worries for our kids as all parents: drugs, underage drinking, doing well in school, dating, etc. I have to admit that I do sometimes get tired of having to listen to well-meaning but ignorant people who manage to work in "oh, but they're not yours?" Considering that they've twice been taken away from their birth mother by the authorities, I would consider myself more their parent than she. Thank you for producing a film that examines all of the issues about being parents (who just happen to be gay).



7/1/03
Daley Ruthven
reno nv
I would just like to say that I respect all the men that shared their stories with us, and I wish there could me more people out there, with the love and compasion that they all possess. And I wish them all the love and happiness in the world!



7/1/03
Katy
Pittsfield, MA
I thought this was a wonderful and honest film. I am an adopted child and I am an adoption social worker. I have done several gay adoptions in my fourteen years as a social worker. I am in the process of doing a two daddy adoption. While some may take issue with gay parenting, there is no question in my mind that a good parent is a good parent. A parent who can best meet the needs of a child is really all that matters. All parents face challenges in raising children. If a parent has truly claimed a child as his own, then they can face these challenges.

I also teach at a local college. This fall, I will be teaching Foster Care and Adoption. I plan on making this one of the films I show my class. Thank you for making such a wonderful film.



7/1/03
Samantha Cattaneo
Syracuse, NY
I just finished watching your wonderful documentary and felt extremely compelled to share my thoughts. As a future (straight) adoptive parent, I have always been sensitive to the laws surrounding adoption, so when Florida's laws became so largely publicized a few years ago, I was outraged and disgusted. A loving parent, regardless of race or sexual preference is a loving parent... period. It is beyond me how anyone could have the audacity to stand in the way of that or to not have the logic to see it! Regardless, I have the absolute most respect for the people in your film who fight the ignorance and raise those kids in what are clealy loving, wonderful homes. I can only hope that I am as brave and as patient when I finally do adopt in the next few years. Thank you for sharing your stories.
~ Samantha Cattaneo, Syracuse, NY (formerly of Miami, Florida)



6/24/03
i enjoyed your program on gay dads to the point of tears.i was particularly taken with Kelly Wallace and his 2 sons.if it is at all possible i would like very much to extend a very large hug from canada, and to tell him he is now my idol. my hope is that mabey you could forward this to him.i wish the absolute best in life for Kelly, and i know someone with a heart as huge as his obviously is will find that person he deserves. thank you for your time



6/24/03
Scott Zucker
Laguna Niguel, CA
My partner David and I just finished watching Daddy and Papa and now that I've finished drying my tears and blowing my nose I'm ready to congratulate you on such a wonderful piece of film making. When I came out at sixteen I was convinced that having a family was not to be in my new gay life. I reluctantly swept that dream under the carpet, so to speak, and didn't challenge the belief until I was in my mid-twenties when my parents sat me down and asked what provisions I had made to become a father. What? I can be gay and be a dad?!!! Their casual acceptance of my gayness and their expectation that I too could be a parent completely blew that closed door off it's hinges. It took me another twenty years of dating, and loving and breaking up before I found myself a man that shares my dream of being a dad. As I write this, David is busy doing the dishes (I cooked tonight), the dog and cat are asleep in our bedroom, and our beautiful and magical ten month old baby boy is dreaming softly in the nursery. Aiden's birth-mom is working with us to give him a baby brother or sister hopefully within the year, and in all my life I have never been happier. Thank you for making a film that, while the details differ from our own, has captured our life. Now if we can only figure out how to transfer it from Tivo to VHS, we've got a lot of people we want to share it with. Thank you again! Scott



6/19/03
Rhea Dear
Houston, Texas
Wow, what an intriguing film. Well spoken, compelling visuals, and a thought provoking series of themes.

I was spell bound. Perhaps as the child of a gay father, who has never really come out o the closet as a child of a gay parent, I was even at my adavanced age eager to see how it all played out.

My experiences with my dad ran the gamut.My experiences with dealing with my dad's gayness were clandestine, and filled with shame and sorrow. But in truth filled with shame and sorrow was a mark with my dysfunctional family, even on issues outside or besides my father's bisexuality.

I had positive experiences with one of my father's more long term relationships. He was a great guy who really encouraged my dad in parenting. But I had mixed feeling about him. I had mixed feelings about my dad.

Once on a trip, my brother and I rushed into a room where the two of them (my dad and his friend)were cozied up. It was a moment of pain, repulsion, pain and enlightenment and confusion for me.

I think I added it on to my reasons for being an outsider. My brother and I were baffled and we did not really talk about it with my father or his friend until many years later and my father denied and negated all my observations.

Perhaps the honesty of these papa daddies would have been less deceitful. I'm a practicing Christian who does not agree that homosexuality is condoned by Jesus the Christ. But neither is lying, killing, gossiping, etc. I blamed a lot on my father's sexuality. Even his death. I think seeing this film helped me to frame some of my feelings a little differently.

As an African American I was even shocked at my softening on gay men adopting African American males but although the film presented it sympathetically, I was not convinced that it is an ideal situation. In fact it represented a situation that would frighten me and call into play my homophobias and fears. in a separate incident, I had a young male relative who was molested and raped by another male.

I had also known gaymen who did take advantage of young boys. One thing for sure with my mixture of life experiences, I pray for all children to be nurtured, nourished and taught to thrive in the face of a world filled with so much pain.



6/19/03
Frank
San Francisco, CA
I have watched this program 5 times already thanks to tivo. I live in the Castro and have seen Kelly and his sons many times. It always brings a smile to my face to see them. He is living my dream. I am a long term HIV survivor and never regretted being HIV positive until viewing this program(in a good way if that makes sense). I have always dreamed of having a family and have worked hard to always be there for the extended family I have been blessed with.

Kelly expressed that he feels alone and wished he had someone to hold onto and let him know he is doing alright. I would like him to know that he has unseen support and that he is doing more than alright. The joy of fatherhood is a precious gift, and he has given all of us in his community the opportunity to brush up against that joy just by his presence. Thanks for allowing me to touch a dream that I thought I would never see Kelly. Thank you for a program that has ignited my imagination and allowed me to dream a dream I had thought had passed. If the circumstances of my life were different, I would be following the path that these brave men are, and opening my heart to a child to love.

The world is a confusing, complex place to navigate, but knowing that there is someone to love you and support you as you stumble through it is what these men and woman are doing for these children. To me that is true bravery.



6/19/03
Paula
NJ
I was flipping through the channels when by chance I saw the "Daddy & Papa" program. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I think everyone is focusing too much on the fear that a gay household will produce gay children. What about the fact that gay children come from heterosexual households. What happened there? We need to stop emphasizing that a heterosexual household will produce perfect children. We all know that is not the case.

The children in this program were happy and well taken care of. I could not deny them their happiness just because of the fear that they might be gay. As Kelly Wallace stated in the program, if he did not adopt his sons, they would have been split up and probably still be in foster homes. Now what type of future would these kids had without Kelly. I believe the challenges these kids will face is the same as any other kids, which is living up to societies definition of what is normal?

Instead of us dissecting what is an ideal household, we need to look at the fact that there are kids out there who need a loving home. I commend these men for stepping up because alot of us heterosexuals are not.



6/19/03
L. Morris
New York, NY
Papa and Daddy was amazing. I am an adoptee of a heterosexual couple and I now work in the child welfare field. Every child should be so lucky to have parents who really want them--whether those parents are straight, gay, single, married or whatever. Especially for those kids who are languishing in foster care, any home that offers safey, love, and a forever commitment is a goldmine and should be treated as such.



6/19/03
Cindy Alexander
Independence, NJ
My husband and I sat and wept together while watching your program. To be willing to give a child such a loving, safe enviroment is what this world should focus on. Race, sexual preference, handicap and even which side of the mini-wheat you prefer should have no place. "All you need is Love". Keep up the good work!



6/19/03
Carol
Buffalo New York
I just watched the showing of Independent Lens on PBS. Although I am straight Black Woman, I can relate to what the people in the show are going thorough. Sometimes people in this country, seem to forget that gay people have all the hopes, wishes and dreams that most people have. It takes a special type of person to adopt. It is quite clear from the show these families are very, very serious and mature in their intent to give these children a wonderful, loving and safe life. There are thousands of children who will never get a chance to experience such love. In the near future I intend to adopt a sibling group. I presently reading The Lost Children of Wilder by Nina Bernstein, which should be required reading, before people areso quick to make judgements about gay people rights in terms of adoption. I sincerely feel whenever you have laws which are applicable for one group, but not another, we are headed for trouble..............I salute the families for their courage, love, and caring to adopt despite our society's judgements.



6/19/03
Tak
San Francisco, California
What a great, great show. I and my room mate were almost sobbing. This story gives me a lot to think about.

I don't have rights to get married with my boyfriend because domestic partnership won't allow foreigner to change it's living (immigration) status. By getting DP, I can get deported because I'd be manifesting that I have a will to stay in this country. My country won't allow him to get married with me either. So we just don't know where we're supposed to go. Also no matter how much I want to adopt kids here in the U.S, as long as I am a foreigner I can't. Just thinking about this issue gets me very depressed.

But by watching this film, I could have a tiny tiny hope. I don't think it's ever gonna come true for me, however, there are already lots of gay people who care kids who have no parents. Gay people are often attacked, bashed by heterosexual people, so we know the pain of not cared, not being loved. Therefore gay people are the perfect match for kids who have no parents. Gay people kno w how to give love because they know how sad and miserable living without love. Those kids need love. Everybody knows it and nobody even dare to do something about it. People often speak about duty and responsibility and what's moral and what's not without actually doing something about it. that makes me very, very upset. Those heterosexual people and catholic people should personally do something about it. they have absolutely no rights to criticize about others while they are not doing anything. Also heterosexual people often say "gay people are perverts" but for example, just looking at internet, there are so many heterosexual oriented sick websites. It's actually far more than gay sexual sites. After all, all human being are perverts.

I just don't understand why only gay people are being bashed about it. Most of gay people have beautiful heart with excellent lifestyle. They love to cook, they love outdoors, they love arts, they love to read, they love to dance, and as a foreigner, I can say America n people in general is ethnically ignorant, not interested in foreign culture. However gay people are very open to foreign culture and people, and stuff from the countries. What else do kids need to grow happy and interesting life?

Heterosexual people should allow gay people to adopt kids without any stereotypical untruth. As long as I can tell, heterosexual people are not the best model of parents. Sometimes single parent will do much better job, Plus, there is now an alternative. Adoption by gay people is the new way of giving love to the kids who need it. Thank you very much for PBS. I hope many more people will watch this great program.



6/19/03
Thank you for Daddy and Papa. I was flipping around tonight and found your show by accident. As the show came to close, I didn't want to part with these happy families. I immediately turn on my computer to check out the family updates. The documentary was a wonderful blend of the personal and political that should be mandatory viewing. Hopefully, future legal challenges will be victorious because it loathsome to think that foster care would be preferred over placing a child with loving, caring parents who happen to be gay. Legal adoption is also key to giving separated same-sex partners equal access to chlidren. Bravo to PBS for airing this document. Too much media time is given to airing the views of the Christian Right. It is about time we saw some reality and some great role models.



6/19/03
anon
Wow - wonderful fil, I'm a 39 year old straight woman who has decided not to have my own kids because there are 30,000 children a DAY who die of malnutrition. If I want to raise a child I will adopt. I am so glad there are other able parents out there putting kids and by extension the planet first... REfreshing display of adult responsibility....

BRAVE DADDIES -- BRAVO!!!! LUCKY LUCKY KIDS.



6/19/03
Robin
Buffalo,Ny
I just wanted to write a quick letter to tell you that i loved your film. I grew up with a mom and a dad, but let me tell you i dont think it would have made a difference if it was two moms or two dads. Just as long as a child has love its ok. I believe that if you are willing and able to adopt a child it shouldnt matter of you are gay or not. I mean just because i am straight should it be easier for me to adopt a child. I dont think it should i think it should be based on that person or persons abilitys not the sexual preference. I just hope one day people will wake up and realize that all children want is for someone to call mom or dad, no matter if its two moms or two dads,one gay mom or dad or a straight married or single parent and finally someone to love them and someone for them to love.



6/19/03
mimi
los angeles, california
Hellow, my name is mimi and I am a young mother and my son dose not have a relationship with his father. To me having a father there for my son is great but having two is wonderful. I think what you guys are doing is more than fine with me.I want to thank you guys for being a father to that kid keep it up, well I have to go my son is calling for me if his father was here than maybe he could get him ha ha ha



6/13/03
Carole Dunscombe
Plainfield, New Jersey
Dear Johnny ,I happened to be channel-surfing on Sunday June 8th and came upon your independent film on gay-parenting. I was both listening to the words, as well as, doing mundane household tasks. Somewhere along the line I ,literally ,stopped dead in my tracks and found myself ,intermittently, laughing and sobbing while glued to the television . Before I realized how much time had passed ,the credits were rolling and I found myself mouthing the word "BRAVO". The families showcased ,were gloriously loving , successful pairings of children and parents in one very confused and cynical world.Having been raised Roman Catholic, I know, all too well, the conventional thinking of the narrowminded Holy, although I couldn't disagree more strongly. In my heart, I have always believed that we are ALL children of God, made in His likeness( He never distinguished black or white, gay or straight, Christian or Muslim) It seems to me that children crave and deserve what we all most search for in this world,innately,the desire to be cradled, nurtured and protected by those that love us most...it's as simple as that. And that is why your incredible film spoke volumes... to the common thread in us all.Congratulations to you for helping others to see the "sameness" , rather than the differences in providing love and nurturance in the lives of children. Intention is everything....and your children will always know that you chose to rise above every "convention" and "crooked belief" to provide for his or her needs and deepest desires. I was touched beyond words!!!!!!!!Thank you.



6/13/03
Diane Collins
Myrtle Beach, SC
Im a Christian mother of three and I cringe when I think about gay people and sex.

So I try not to think about it. I think that God is love. Love is good. Even though I believe Gay couples are sinning, I think they would make better parents than most of the straight couples I know. (Who are most of them sinning too in some way or another). Children are a blessing and a big responsibility. As long as they are loved and taught good strong morals, their physical needs are met and they are not mistreated, I would not deny a child to a couple because they are gay.

Im sure my church family would disagree with how I feel. I know there are so many children living in less than perfect homes. Children who are living without guidance, supervision, and love. Gay couples in my opinion would not teach their children to be gay. Which is what most worries the straight people who make the rules.

I dont think people are gay because they choose to be gay. I think if someone tried to tell me to love a woma n when I wanted a man, I would rather be poked fun of and mistreated than to love the opposite sex than that which Im naturally attracted to.

Sorry Im babbling. Am I ignorant? I probably am way off track. I would like to learn more. This is such a deep subject, I would have to write an article or an essay for you to know what I think. This is just the tip of the ice berg. I better quit and get to work. Sorry, I dont think I answered any of the above questions. I will try again later.

<< To find out more about gay adoption issues and other related topics go to the "Learn More" section of this Web site. >>



6/12/03
Kim Petrucci
Rochester NY
I haven't watched the film yet but I do know when it is coming on again and am looking forward to watching it! I was reading through some of the comments on the talkback page and was truly surprised at some that were made against the film. One woman states..."I wish they would stop identifying themselves so much with their sexuality and start thinking of *themselves* first as people." I argue that they ARE thinking of themselves first as people. Many people, regardless of race, creed, or religion have a deep desire to be parents REGARDLESS of their sexuality. Obviously that is not an issue or else social workers overseeing the placement of these children would take issue with their sexuality. Kudos PBS...you continue to expose us to thoughtful and provacative programming. It is this kind of exposure that I hope will one day break the barriers of so many stereotypes in our society from gay and lesbians to the developmentally disabled. As result of this film, I will be contributing to my local PBS station to keep great programming like this available!



6/12/03
Amanda
Norwalk, IA
I saw this wonderful movie and I was moved to tears at times. My family has always told me I should not have children or adopt children because I could mentally screw them up. All my life I've wanted a big family and after watching this show I know that it doesn't matter what my family thinks its ok for me to become a mother and have a mommy to help me raise our children.



6/12/03
Dave
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Thank you and PBS for an EXCELLENT show. Having such a well-done documentary can help so many people along in their understanding of adoption- other adopting parents, bigotted folks, those thinking of adoption, and of course our future generation that needs parenting desperately. Bravo to you.



6/12/03
Robert
Oakland CA
My husband and I really wanted to watch this on PBS last night, but after he, I and our six-year-old son finished
a)taking out the garbage and recycling,
b)homework (in kindergarten!)
c)dinner
d) cleaning up _after_ dinner, and
e) bedtime,
this Poppa (and Daddy, too) were simply too pooped to stay up til eleven. I'm going to try again tomorrow night - it sounds really great. After reading some of these postings, one thing puzzles me - back when I was young, certain critics of 'gay people' accused us of being self-indulgent for opting out of the responsibilities of adult life; e.g., raising children. Now that some of us are doing so, the same choir accuses us of putting our own desires ahead of the welfare of the children.

Now how would it have benefitted our son to stay in foster care for the next twelve years? If we (my husband and I) were selfish, we'd be spending our money on dinners out and traveling - not on summer camp and an endless succession of shoes. Our son has two fathers who love each other and him - there are lot of kids his age who wish they had even one. Sure, some kids are going to be cruel when they find out - some kids are cruel no matter what. Bottom line for us is, children are better off in a stable, permanent loving home. If all the people who carp about two-dad families were out there adopting, we wouldn't even be having a debate about it.



6/11/03
Renu E.
I saw this film last night and loved it. It was great to see loving families.

There were 3 things that stuck out in my mind - the first being Zachary's sleeping with Johnny and William, as a mom of 3 kids who slept with us for the last 10 years -trust me one day, your physical affection for your kids pays off. My kids are more affectionate with us and (I think) each other.

The second about not having sex as parents - we used our guest bedroom - we call it the red-light district. It saved our marriage.

Finally my husband and I are a bi-racial couple and we could relate to the stares and occasional questions.
Thanks again.



6/11/03
Brynna
Milwaukee, WI
I stayed up past my normal bedtime last night (which is whenever I get my 2 children to sleep, clean up whatever I can before I sit down to take a break and pass out) just to watch this program.

It was outstanding!! I am a single mother of two beautiful children, a 5 year old boy and a 9 month old girl. They are the center of my universe, as are the children of all of the loving fathers that were featured in this film. The difference is, my children both only have me... ONE extremely loving parent. And although I enjoy every minute of it, my children deserve two parents. These children were brought into very loving, caring and safe environments for them with not one but TWO great parents. Isn't that what all those children without homes are longing for?

The whole idea of turning a child gay has always irritated me like chalk scraping on a chalk board. My son, who is very boyish (digs for worms, bugs, reptiles, frogs, anything creepy-crawly) also would love if I would paint his nails with sparkly nailpolish. He is also a great big brother to his little sister, which started before she was here with his love for babies/baby dolls, etc. I have heard so many people tell me "DON'T LET HIM PLAY WITH DOLLS!! YOU ARE GOING TO TURN HIM GAY!!" It makes no sense to me! Where and how did this misconception and ridiculous theory begin? I mean, pretending to take care of a baby will make someone prefer having sex with a man?? I mean, come on now...

Anyway, I don't want to ramble... but I would like to say I would love to see this film aired on PRIMETIME TV so that it could be seen by the closed-minded people who need to see it.

Thanks for bringing us into your lives. I enjoyed it immensely. I laughed and cried with you.....



6/11/03
Carollen Mathieu
Worcester Ma.
I truely loved this film. I was a wake at 4:00 am and watched it. I was sad that such a though provocing show was not on at 8 or 9 pm. I may have missed it at that time. If so please forgive my coment.I must say that I personally feal that all parents weather gay or strait can be both good or bad parents. We as a society seam to feel that giving birth makes a mommy or daddy. This sadly is not true. I see teanagers barely capable of reading haveing children. We see nothing rong with this. we accept it as the mothers right to rais the child. The damage that a person who can and dose give birth because of young love is devistating on our society. All children suffer in life one way or another. Children are crule to eachother. I personally remember what school was like and I was a middle class white girl from a 2 familly home. The day to day presures on children is easy to foget as we get older. I can tell you that yes my parents loved me but did not want me.. I was a mistake born 11 years after there last chil. Mom "did not want to watch T. V."" dad did not pull out". All my life I knew I was an unwanted pregnacy and it has caused me several problems. How I wish that I was loved & wanted. Children are a large responcibility. If gay & lesbians are willing to go through the hell of American addobtion they have though it out and want the child. I can honestly say I see terrible biological mothers careing for there children everyday. I hear the yelling and crulty inflicted on yong lifes daily. I live next door to a single mother who loves her child. However is just not capable of dealing with the stress of single motherhood. I have also seen a single mother do the most wonderful job of raising a healthy emotional child. However giving birth is not good enough qualifications to motherhood. I feel that a gay person or couple could be wonderful parents. The children they will raise is not the result of a one night stand or too much to drink. They want to love & care for a life. Parenthood is the hardest job anyone wil ever do. Children need homes & LOVE. Anyone can give food & shulter. Love and respect is want a child really needs to thrive. Life is hard & the world is crule a child needs a safe & loveing home no matther what the sex of the caregivers or giver. I feel that it is not going to be easey on children growing up in a gay home do to society. We as a society are extreamly closed minded. We live in a world where gays are hurt just for being gay. The hate will come out in the crule words children say to eachother. However that is a reflection of what the parents have taught the child in there home. Children learn what they live. So called religous people who claim to live as a Christion do not behave as christ would. Christ did not pass judgment. He taught us to love & turn the other cheek. We forget the bible was developed by men with political modivations. Christ did not write the bible. We can only live as he preached. Love eachother!! Aceptance & understanding is the answer. Would the world truely be a better place haveing children raised in homes where they are unwanted & not cared for? I personally have seen Woman get pregnant every 4 years to stay on welfare. Each child had a different father. I went in to pick up the child with one of the fathers & the mother was having sex with the door open while the children were around watching.On the other hand I have seen a woman give birth use public assistance to give here child a good life while she got an education so she could give her child a better life. That mother is now a tax paying member of society & her child is a honer student. Once again giveing birth is not the proff of a good parent. Love & respect are. I truely feel that same sex parents can be much better parents than the birthgiver. I feel that there are a lot of children born to people who can not care for them. I do not think that denying a child a good safe loveing home based on sexual prefrenc is the answer. I a perfact world ther is not unwanted children. In a perfect world there is not hate oabuce. This world is far far from perfact. Each and every day we hurt eachother over misunderstanding. People who beileve they are supirior over others and can tell the world how to live are causing the damage. God is about love & acceptance not judgment & hate that is for mankind. Gay couples are not taking children away form loving families they are taking unloved children & giveing love. It is sad to think that so called reigious people would rather have a child without a truely loveing familly rather than let love grow. Homosexuality is not a disease you give to a child. The child will be what ever god wants. Odviosly for all there talk they do not trust in God. They seam to have made themselfs judge & jurry over something they will never understand do to closed mindes. Please forgive my spelling no spell check..

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