Children's Aid Society puts out call for lesbian, gay parents

The Children's Aid Society in Windsor-Essex is trying to entice more gay and lesbian people to become adoptive or foster parents.

Windsor, Ont., campaign urges gays, lesbians to become adoptive or foster parents

The Children's Aid Society in Windsor-Essex is trying to entice more gay and lesbian people to become adoptive or foster parents.

The aid society has partnered with Windsor Pride to try to tap into what it calls an underutilized demographic.

The first information session for the recruitment campaign is Wednesday evening in Windsor.

Local lesbian and gay individuals who currently care for adopted or foster children will join children's aid workers in speaking to the public about their experience.

Among them will be Kelly O'Rourke, who, along with her female partner, adopted the baby of a distant relative.

That child is now seven years old, and the couple recently adopted a second child, a five-year-old boy.

"He feels like he has got a place that he'll be forever," O'Rourke told CBC News.

"We're his forever family, and that means so much for a child ... We are now a family that he can call his, and it's really, really important that we all take a look and realize that this opportunity is open to all of us, and we can all help these kids."

Criteria the same for all parents

While the aid society is targeting gay and lesbian families, it says all potential parents must meet specific criteria.

"They all have to have the ability to raise a child to adulthood that biologically is not connected to you, the ability to keep the child safe — just all the things that you need to have and the skills you need to have as a parent irregardless of your race, creed, colour or sexual orientation," said Bev Thomson, an adoption recruiter with the aid society. "It's still the same."

The information meeting begins at 7 p.m. at 422 Pelissier St.