It shouldn’t be news, actually. Foster kids get adopted all the time. Not as often as we’d all like, certainly, but it does happen. So why would anyone care that Martin Gill adopted his two foster children? Gill was the boys’ foster parent for 6 years before the adoption became final on Wednesday. But it’s not so much the adoption itself that’s noteworthy but the route Gill took to get there. You see, Martin Gill is gay and, until recently, Florida was the only state in the nation with a law on the books that barred homosexuals from adopting. That is no longer the case, thanks to Gill and the ACLU.
Archive for January, 2011
Calling the current system “Edwardian,” Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg wants to overhaul Britain’s rules governing maternity and paternity leave. Specifically, he wants to increase the amount of time men take off from work after their child is born. Currently, women are allowed up to a year of maternity leave; under the new rules, if they return to work before that time is up, the father would be able to use the remainder of the unpaid leave.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the US, a federal holiday. That means that the kids don’t have school so, because I don’t have to get them up and out the door, I get an extra hour of sleep while still heading off to work at the usual time. But I worry about that. I worry that, for most people, that is the extent of the meaning of this day off — a holiday in honor of some dead guy that did something at some point in history. Is that enough, however, or do we, as parents, have a responsibility to our children to make it something more than that?
On the one hand, it is important to recognize the life and accomplishments of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. On the other hand, educating our children is just about the most important task we have as a society. So what do we do when a school district needs to make up for snow days and the only option available seems to be the reverend doctor’s holiday?
I had an appraiser come by earlier this week to check out the house as part of refinancing our mortgage. Sometime next week, I’ll find out what she thinks my house is worth. My family and I live in the same house in which I grew up and, whatever number she comes up with, I know it will be wrong. A home is so much more than the dollar value of an upgraded bathroom and a new stove.
Being the product of a marriage between a Jewish man and a Catholic woman, I will admit to being rather opposed to the idea that one should never marry outside one’s faith. If a couple can get past their religious differences, I don’t see a problem with it. Of course, I’m rather dismissive of religion and its influence anyway, so perhaps it’s not surprising that not everyone agrees with me. Rabbi Dov Lior, a prestigious Rabbi in Israel and an authority on Jewish law, goes further and says that Jewish parents need to make sure their kids are 100% Jewish too.
According to Andrew Haines, writing in Ethika Politika, the blog of the Center for Morality in Public Life, without children, the whole point of marriage vanishes. That is, you and your spouse don’t actually love each other; you’re just in it for the good genes. While this is not a new theory (in fact, it is so old as to have been thoroughly debunked over and over again), Haines’ take on it is a novel one; he seems to be saying that if two people who cannot have children together are allowed to get married, everyone else’s marriage will fall apart.
Is this an outrageous request from an over-entitled soccer mom or a reasonable accommodation? Janet Tener has asked that Clear Creek Amana High School, from which her son Zach is set to graduate with honors, to change the time of the graduation ceremony because their family has another event scheduled at the same time. Now, before you rush to judge Mrs. Tener, be aware that it may not be so out-of-line as you might think.
Whether you applaud this trend or condemn it will likely depend on how old your kids are — or if you even have kids at all. In Singapore, more and more restaurants are setting a minimum age requirement for their patrons and it has nothing to do with the legal drinking age. Some are even going so far as to ban anyone not yet a teenager.