For some gay couples, the idea of one child is daunting. But for the Brangelina of Arizona, Steven and Roger Ham, 12 is the magic number. The Hams have been raising 12 kids together in a state that doesn’t allow same-sex couples to marry or adopt, yet they have recently scored a victory in bringing their family even closer together.
Steven and Roger adopted the first member of their brood in 2003, a boy named Michael. But after witnessing the boy’s distress over being separated from his four siblings, who had been spread out among different foster homes, the Hams grew determined to reunite the five kids.
And they didn’t stop there.
Over the past ten years, 42 foster children have passed through the Hams’ door, with the couple eventually adopting an even dozen. In 2007, Roger changed his last name to Ham so that everyone would have the same last name and to avoid any confusion during pick-up from school or the doctor’s office.
However, since Arizona prohibits same-sex adoption as well as the adoption of one same-sex partner’s child by another, 10 of the kids were legally-bound to Steven. Two of the kids were adopted in Washington, where same-sex adoption is legal and therefore both Steven and Roger’s names appeared on the birth certificates.
That is until last month, when the Hams received a call that would change their family forever.
Shelly Kreb, the lawyer who helped them adopt in Washington, offered to facilitate the re-adoption of their 10 other kids for the price of one — $1,500. On July 13, Judge Diane Woolard called to inform them that from now on both Steven’s and Roger’s names would appear on each of their children’s birth certificates.
Source: The Arizona Republic