Senator Beauregard Claghorn, the real deal.

We all know about adoption and child welfare secrecy:

sealed birth records
anonymous adoptees
anonymous first parents
anonymous adoptive parents
anonymous foster parents
state confiscated identities
forged government documents
closed juvenile court hearings
sealed juvenile court records
anonymous tips to CPS
secret adoptions
Late Discovery adopttees
anonymous state-promoted child abandonment baby dump laws

And just when you think it can’t get any more secret, we have Rep. John J. DeBerry, Jr, and Sen. Paul Stanley who don’t think it’s the media’s business why they’ve introduced restrictive adoption bills (HB 605 and SB 78) in the Tennessee legislature. The companion bills ( I can’t find the texts, only the summaries) ban unwed cohabiting couples from adopting. Who this really means, of course, is gays and lesbians. “Those people” never come up in the bills’ language, though, except for a passing reference to Tennessee’s constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. Last year these same Junior Claghorns introduced a more strict gay and lesbian ban. Go here for background.

Most Tennesseans thought the issue died after an October 2007 ruling by the state Attorney General that there was no legal basis in state law to ban gay couples from adopting. For reasons apparent to no one but themselves and their best friends at the Family Action Council of Tennessee, who never met a queer that didn’t make them break out in hives, the Junior Claghorns revived the issue last month with their proposals. Advocates of the bills say the AG and the Department of Children’s Services misinterpreted Tennessee law. David Fowler, president of FACT opined “that most lawmakers and ordinary people understood the adoption policy’s intention to give children to straight, married couples” before the AG’s opinion.

Unlike most politicians who are more than happy to publicize their keen lawmaking skills and shake glad hands with the public, especially in November, the Junior Claghorns have scurried into their hidey-holes at the War Memorial. Sen. Stanley is just plain not available for comment. Rep. DeBerry, Jr. however, takes a unique approach. According to The Tennessean:

DeBerry said there were aspects of his reasons for sponsoring the bill that he was unwilling to discuss with a reporter. DeBerry was also unwilling to say what sort of family structure he believes is best for children.

“If a member of the public would like to know my reasons, they can contact me, come into my office, he said. “We will shut the door, and I would be happy to share my reasons.”

Rep. John J. DeBerry-Claghorn:
Well, isn’t that nice! Not only is adoption a secret process, people in Tennessee can’t even find out why lawmakers have introduced major adoption legislation, short of setting up a meeting behind closed doors, with the House sponsor. Actually, I kinda like that idea. Let DeBerry be so tied up in one-on-one meetings with angry queers, singles, and adoption reformers everyday that he can’t get out of his office to cause mischief elsewhere in the building.

We all know why the Junior Claghorns keep introducing these bills, but why don’t they just admit it? Come on dudes. Be loud and proud! Does DeBerry think that the press asking why he’s sponsoring HB 605 is an “invasion of his privacy?” We’re talking about adoption,a nd anything less than murky, of cousre, is protected by special rights. If first parents have a right to hide, why not lawmakers?

Sen. Paul Stanley-Claghorn:

DeBerry, waving the empty purse, claims that one of his “primary concerns” in banning unmarried couples from adoption is child support collection if proscribed adopters separate later. Apparently DeBerry is so busy sticking his nose into other people’s family building that he’s unaware that the Tennessee Department of Human Services collects child support from married, unmarried and divorced parents. Hey, I bet DHS even collects from gay and lesbian adopters! And does he really want to talk about gay bioparents?

According to DCS, if the the Junior Claghorns prevail, the pool of adults from which the state can draw adoptive parents, already small, would shrink, causing available children in the state system to spend about 180 extra days in state care and cost Tennessee taxpayers $5,000,000 and an additional loss of $3,500,000 in federal funds.

Despite the real Senator Claghorn’s admonition, “It’s a joke son. It’s a joke,” it’s not a joke when politicians shut-out the media and tell constituents to meet with them behind closed doors to discuss what’s up.


  1. ROTFL….The old Native American adage about speaking with a forked tongue comes to mind. So, what he says in public and what he says when cloistered in the fortress of his office must differ in some way. Gee, a waffling, dishonest politician…imagine that!

  2. The way the Arkansas law reads, no prohibition to single people adopting. It’s just the unmarried, cohabiting twosome in a sexual relationship that is banned from adopting. The Tennessee bill summary reads word for word like the Arkansas law. So who would have the burden of proof? Does a prospective parent have to PROVE they’re not “cohabiting in a sexual relationship”? What if you’re in one or more sexual relationships but don’t live together?

  3. So you’re doubtless suffering from having been adopted and not knowing where you came from, and yet you want to inflict this thing on countless more kids because it’s mean to exclude gay people from adopting…


    The adoption system needs a serious overhaul. Until it gets that, in the RIGHT direction, I think shrinking the potential adopter pool is a smart idea. Now, that’s not what Rep. Homophobe here is thinking… but that will be the end result.

    The other side of it is they need to quit taking kids in the first place, in MOST cases. They will take your child if you don’t have enough bedrooms for the size of your family and you happen to be at the mercy of the welfare system. That’s ridiculous.

  4. First, of all, I know exactly where I came from. I’ve known for nearly 30 years Unlike poor anonymous you, who has no name.

    At no point in this entry did I speak one way or the other about the efficacy of gay adoption. The issue here is the secrecy under which this bill is being handled. The sponsor telling constituents to make an appointment with him to meet in private so he can explain his reaons for the bill is hardly transparent. That brings adoption legislation to a higher level of secrecy than I’ve ever seen before.

    The real way to stop adoption is to stop breeding, but the US obsession with reproducing itself isn’t going to stop.

  5. So, you hate “Gotcha” day because it makes the private public, but you also hate these legislators for trying to keep such stuff private. Hmm….Oh, and you love gays and anyone who doesn’t want to invite them home for dinner each week is awful. We get it now.

  6. So, how are things in Sunnyvale, Don Juan? Most be a slow day.We’re waiting for a storm from Chicago here.

    There is a big difference between privacy and secrecy. Any decent lawyer will explain it to you. There is also a big difference between a group of privileged adults feeding their egos with child props and the restoration of the right OBC for all adoptees. At one time, every state released them without restriction. Now, only 7 do.

    I have not here addressed the issue of gay adoption anywhere that I can remember. really don’t care; all adoption is a promulgation of the bourgeois family. The blog was about ,legislative secrecy. The same could be said about the PATRIOT Act, ObamaCare, and NSA.

    BTW, I worked in a gay industry for 15 years. You’d be surprised who’s queer.

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