By: SUSAN DONALDSON JAMES
In 1994, Daddy Dave and Daddy Bob prepared 5-year-old Elizabeth Wall for the first day of kindergarten in New Jersey, meeting with the principal in advance to ease her transition as the daughter of two gay men.
Elizabeth Wall, 20, and her two fathers, Bob Houck (left) and David Wall of Lawrenceville, N.J., who adopted her when she was only five days old.
(Courtesy of the David Wall family)
They never learned until years later how insensitively the school reacted to their unconventional family, according to Wall, now 20 and a sociology major at The College of Wooster in Ohio.
“They had never had gay parents before,” Wall told ABCNews.com. “It’s funny, after the principal met with them, he went to the faculty and said, ‘Who wants to take her?'”
Fortunately one teacher, who later became a close friend, volunteered and took the little girl under her wing in the classroom, but for years Wall was careful about only telling close friends that she had two fathers.
“Obviously I was different and didn’t have a mom,” she said. “We are living in a world that treats our families differently. It can be isolating and challenging.”
Wall is one of a growing number of children, who affectionately call themselves “gaybies” or “queer spawn.” Born after the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, they are now reshaping the American family.
Of the 270,000 children living with same-sex parents, about 65,000 are adopted. Most, like other Americans, are in two-child families.
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