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Gay Arizona Couple Finishes Joint Adoption of 12 Foster Kids: VIDEO

Ham

Steven and Roger Ham a gay couple living in Arizona are raising 12 children from foster care. Two of the children they were able to legally adopt in Washington, where same-sex couples can adopt and both be listed as the child's parent. After their story was publicized last year, an angel attorney by the name of Shelly Krebs stepped in to help the couple adopt the 10 other children. They are all now an official family.

2_hamThe Arizona Republic reports.

With only one legal parent, children in gay households are not entitled to health and Social Security benefits, inheritance rights or child support from the other parent. If a gay couple splits up, only the legal parent has custody rights. Steven and Roger could re-adopt the kids somewhere else that allows same-sex couples to adopt together, but it is expensive, about $1,500 for each child. Steven says there always seems to be more pressing financial needs.

Besides, names on paper don't mean as much as what the kids experience every day. The kids call Steven "Dad," and Roger "Papa." But Shelly Krebs, an attorney in Vancouver, Wash., who did Isabel and Logan's adoptions, made the Hams an offer. She would handle the adoptions of the 10 other kids for about the cost of one.

Reached by phone last week, Krebs brushed aside what she had done as her work: "I basically made happen what could happen under the law."

She helps place children with no families into stable homes where they will be cared for by parents who love them -- in this case, both parents.

"As a businessperson, it's a little more paperwork, and it's a little more time for me," Krebs says, and pauses. "The world is not always about time and money."

Watch an interview with the couple, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Good for them, but, I wonder if children are served as well by ANY family unit so large - whether it be Mormons, liberals, biological, or adopted - as they are by a smaller one. I know from my nieces and nephews that having one-on-one time with each parent is very important to them.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Aug 13, 2012 2:35:29 PM


  2. Brad and Angie got nothin' on them! Big families are wonderful actually. Children can learn from siblings sometimes as much as parents.

    Posted by: Gregoire | Aug 13, 2012 2:41:42 PM


  3. I think the security of having a forever family is more important than the number of kids. (And my husband and I only adopted one.)

    Congrats to this large, loving, forever family! And THANK YOU to Ms. Krebs. "The world is not always about time and money."

    Posted by: David R. | Aug 13, 2012 2:46:35 PM


  4. @ECHTKULTIG, I come from a very large family; I am the youngest of 13 biological siblings and have 50 nieces and nephews.. I can tell you from experience that I was not starved for love or affection when I a kid, nor am I now as an adult. In fact, I feel extremely lucky to have so many family members loving me unconditionally.

    Posted by: Luke | Aug 13, 2012 3:06:35 PM


  5. Inspiring story. Lucky parents and lucky kids.

    Posted by: Jay | Aug 13, 2012 3:07:46 PM


  6. Great story. I'll adopt someday.

    Posted by: reality | Aug 13, 2012 3:10:27 PM


  7. 12 kids! Kudos to this couple for taking in a family much larger than many could handle. With so many kids needing loving homes, it's great to read a positive story about people making a difference: http://www.kidspeace.org/fosterparent.aspx?ekmensel=77931891_50_52_224_1

    Posted by: Elyse Ted | Aug 13, 2012 3:31:19 PM


  8. "The world is not always about time and money."

    Made me tear up. Thanks Ms. Krebs.

    Posted by: gerry | Aug 13, 2012 3:42:13 PM


  9. "The world is not always about time and money."

    Made me tear up. Thanks Ms. Krebs.

    Posted by: gerry | Aug 13, 2012 3:42:14 PM


  10. Kids aren't for me but I take my hat off to this marvelous family. Raising these kids is a beautiful thing.

    Posted by: James in BCN | Aug 13, 2012 4:36:13 PM


  11. http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpressebooks/view?docId=ft6489p0rr;chunk.id=0;doc.view=print

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Aug 13, 2012 7:11:55 PM


  12. THAT IS SO AWESOME!

    Posted by: Andy | Aug 13, 2012 9:54:42 PM


  13. I wish I believed in god so that I could ask Her/Him/It to bless them. They are good people.

    Posted by: andrew | Aug 13, 2012 10:04:25 PM


  14. YES! Just what's needed - both for these kids being adopted and for the gay community's public image. This is one of the few times I can comment on a Towleroad story and have nothing but positive things to say! The more families like this receive attention, the better. This sure beats boycotts and legal threats. Family values in action!

    Posted by: Mary | Aug 14, 2012 9:32:45 AM


  15. YES! Just what's needed - both for these kids being adopted and for the gay community's public image. This is one of the few times I can comment on a Towleroad story and have nothing but positive things to say! The more families like this receive attention, the better. This sure beats boycotts and legal threats. Family values in action!

    Posted by: Mary | Aug 14, 2012 9:32:46 AM


  16. @EchtKultig: Like any large family, the older kids tend to help in looking after the younger kids -- brushing teeth, putting to bed, helping study, etc. That was the way with myself, my sisters and cousins. We all lived close by when I was young, so I often got baby-sat by one of my older cousins. I'll agree, I can't imagine that many brothers and sisters all in the same house, but with my sisters and cousins, there were 12 of us too.

    Posted by: SFRowGuy | Aug 14, 2012 2:10:10 PM


  17. As a committed christian I have always believed gay adoption to be wrong. That children needed to be brought up in a family where there was a mum AND a dad.

    After seeing this video my thoughts are this...

    Until christians are prepared to get off their butts and start offering homes to kids who are rotting away in the state system...until christians are prepared to adopt and foster kids without parents, we dont have the right to open our mouths about gay couples who do.

    What a great, big, happy household.

    Posted by: Jenny | Nov 19, 2012 9:22:36 AM


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