"Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life."
- Mark Twain
Through the years society changes and adapts to new social structures, technology, and a changing population. Today same sex parents are becoming an increasingly large segment of adoptive parents. What would have been unheard of 40 or 50 years ago is now acceptable. Same sex couples as well as single men and single women are changing the landscape of adoption. And since the population is exploding, that's a good thing. After all, every child deserves to grow up in a loving home with someone who cares for them.
Bill Horn and Scout Masterson are the proud parents of a little girl, and as they talk about her their eyes sparkle and it's evident they love her with all their hearts. Over lunch we discussed their journey from single men to a loving family.
Bill met Scout ten years ago on Super Bowl Sunday. He remembers everything about that day. They were at a benefit for HIV/AIDS and were introduced to each other by two drag queens. Talk about a great story to tell their children and grandchildren.
Bill joked, "He was by himself kind of standing off to the side, and I thought he was mysterious or a lunatic, or both." As Bill says, there was "an instant attraction" between the two of them and they have been Domestic Partners ever since.
In California there was only a small window of opportunity for gays to marry, and these two were going to do it. They ran into a problem however because they wanted their families to share the joyous occasion with them, and both of their families lived on the east coast. So, because of the small amount of time that was given to same sex marriages due to legal battles, they lost out on getting married, but they did have a ceremony and look forward to the time they will be able to get married.
The couple told me they wanted a ceremony because they knew they were going to adopt a child, and having that ritual cemented their relationship, although as Bill pointed out, because they were Domestic Partners already that they have legal rights like legally married couples do. They just don't have the actual marriage license, which is something they would like to have.
If these two look familiar to you, then you must have seen the Oxygen reality show Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. They are friends of Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott, and are the "Guncles" (Gay Uncles) to Tori and Dean's children.
The Adoption Process
After extensive research, they selected the IAC (Independent Adoption Center) and began learning everything there was to know about the process. They attended extensive seminars and filled out piles and piles of forms. They both knew they could give a child a loving home, and desperately wanted that opportunity. Surrogacy was an option but extremely expensive, and as Scout said, "Adoption would be giving a child a family and a second chance."
It took Bill and Scout almost two years after beginning the process to finally get their daughter. They had to muddle through a lot of scams and offers from people who only wanted to be part of their lives to get close to Tori Spelling. To say they had ups and downs during this time is an understatement.
But one day they received a call from a pregnant woman who was genuinely interested in giving her future child to them. Before the baby was born the three developed a connection and Bill and Scout were present at the birth of Simone. The couple either talks to texts Simone's birthmother several times a week. She is a part of their daughter's life and they have no intention of severing that relationship. They even let the birth mother select their daughter's middle name.
Scout and Bill are very hands-on parents. They take their daughter to the park, play with her, and even though only one parent is required to accompany a child to the preschool where Simone goes twice a week, both of them take her. And to add to the family dynamic Scout's mother has moved out to California to take on the role of Nanny and be part of her granddaughter's life.
The men were eager to tell me all about Simone, like the fact that she is a baby fashionista. This little girl loves getting all dolled up. Her other loves, besides her fathers, are the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse TV show and her Minnie Mouse doll. At night they read stories at bedtime. Simone especially likes them to read her Twig Tale book because it was created just for her. The Twig Tales are personalized stories that put the child right into the book. Bill and Scout formed Marque Communications, a public relations company for baby and kids products and Twig Tales happens to be one of their clients. So Simone was fortunate to get one of the first publications--created especially for her.
Listening to both men talk about their daughter and family is heartening and heartwarming. Scout said, "We're just like any other family." Anyone who sees them realizes how much they love and adore Simone. Having her has enriched their lives and they are providing a very loving home for this adorable little girl.
Mentoring Prospective Adoptive Parents
Besides being hard at work on a book about adoption, Bill and Scout formed Hold My Hand, a free mentoring service for people (not only gays) looking to adopt. While they insist they are not professionals, they do have experience in adoption and can help answer questions by prospective adoptive parents. This is something about which they feel strongly because they are grateful for being able to bring Simone into their family.
The couple has decided to adopt another child. "Two is the limit," Bill insists. Because they are so hands-on, they feel they couldn't give more than two children all the personal attention they deserve. "So many children need families," Scout claims. "We can create a loving home and a loving family."
Same sex parents are a growing part of society, and Bill Horn and Scout Masterson are fine examples of how this new segment of society is providing love for children in need of a home and family. I have never seen two parents so overjoyed by every little thing their daughter does. Both men smile and proudly boast, "She's a genius."
For more information about this family and the Hold My Hand adoption mentoring service, visit their website at www.gunclesonline.com.