Rockford adoption agency seeks same-sex couples

September 17, 2013 (ROCKFORD, Ill.)

That's because same-sex couples have traditionally faced a climate of fear and discrimination.

Jeff Barnes keeps a picture of his two adopted children as his computer background.

"She said she wanted to give her children to a family that couldn't have children," he said.

Barnes is gay. He and his partner Carlos adopted a pair of twins, Olivia and Santiago, last year . Barnes says he was fearful his kids may be teased growing up with two fathers. But he says being a parent has been worth it, and he plans on mentoring same-sex couples who want to adopt..

"By all means proceed with your adoption," he said. "As we've seen really over the last two to four years, society's views are changing for the gay community."

Children's Home and Aid is holding a meeting in Loves Park next month for same-sex couples wanting to adopt. They want them to know they'll be treated fairly in the adoption process.

"It's really not any more difficult going through the process as it would be for a traditional heterosexual couple," said Jennifer Mitchell, Children's Home & Aid. "Most of the steps pretty much are all the same."

Barnes knows some will object to him adopting children -- but says he offers what every loving family does.

"Loving an individual comes from your heart and to love a child that loves you back unconditionally," he said. "That's something that's hard to replace or find anywhere else."

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