NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The need for foster families in Ohio continues to grow. For the month of June, the LGBT community is celebrating pride. A couple in New Middletown is highlighting both of those things.
Shane and Eric Morlan have been married for almost seven years.
“We’re just normal people who just want to have a family,” Eric said.
They’ve been foster parents for nearly two years, having about ten kids come through their home.
“Kids need loving homes with gay couples, as well as with straight couples,” Eric said.
Shane and Eric are sharing their story to show any home can be a loving one.
“It’s not like because we’re homosexual, that we’re trying to take kids and convert them to homosexuals or anything like that,” Shane said. “We’re just providing them with a loving home and that’s it.”
For these foster parents, Pride Month is a time to celebrate who they are.
“Being myself, being proud that I’m gay and not caring what other people say,” Eric said.
According to a study by the Williams Institute at UCLA, more than 16,000 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 22,000 adopted children in the U.S. That number is likely to continue rising.
The study found same-sex parents in the U.S. are four times more likely than opposite-sex parents to be raising an adopted child.
“If they could look at the outcomes for the children who have been in our home and see how much they have improved, that would certainly prove that we can provide just as good a home as anybody else,” Shane said.
It’s also a time to celebrate what they love to do.
“You get to see the kids grow,” Eric said. “Coming home and seeing them here, you know? It’s just a great feeling.”
As advocates for their community, these foster parents have learned to be advocates for the kids who need us the most.
The number changes daily but in 2018, Ohio had close to 16,000 kids in foster care.
“That together, with Pride Month, it’s all about advocating for either one thing or the other,” Shane said. “They go hand-in-hand. We all have to do our part.”
Shane and Eric have had a foster child in their home for almost a year now and have been matched to adopt him in October if all goes through.
To learn more about fostering, visit Ohio MENTOR’s website. That’s the agency Shane and Eric use.