terrific people

Meet Kay And Gail: Lesbian Moms With 9 Adopted Kids

Gail Lee (41) and Kay Rainwater (54) have been together for twenty years and have nine kids ranging between ages 3 and 23. They’re kinda like a lesbian version of Octomom except with infinitely more humanity.

“We didn’t want to go outside the U.S. for adoption because there’s so many kids here who need homes,” says Rainwater (Y’hear that Elton John?). Luckily a 2002 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling allowed both women to share legal responsibility of the children. And though they only wanted four kids below age 7 to start with, the adoptions kept yielding large sets of kids until they had nine.

They revamped their three-bedroom rancher to fit six bedrooms. They installed an extra bath and rooms in the basement and moved themselves into the garage.

Now Lee and Rainwater live with their eight kids (sans the 23-year-old) in the West Manchester Township.

Lee studies criminal justice at York College and Rainwater (who has two master’s degrees from a southern Baptist seminary) homeschools all the kids. Adoption subsidies help feed and clothe the eight, but so does clipping coupons, hunting down sales, and paying utility bills late. The couple spends about $1,500 a month on groceries and shuttles around in seven-passenger minivan. “We made these decisions knowing it would be hard financially,” Rainwater says, “but it was important they have the security of a parent there when they come home. There are no regrets.”

Both women also believed that parents should be wedded so “they asked their then-pastor at the Vision of Hope Metropolitan Community Church in Mountville to perform a ceremony of holy union,” the closest they could come to a wedding under PA law. After adopting they changed each child’s last name to Lee, something Rainwater would like to do the next time she has $1,000 laying around.

Before deciding to adopt, Rainwater had misgivings about the harassment they kids would get at school and other places for having two moms. Rainwater said, “I didn’t want them to have to fight our battles. They shouldn’t have to… We’re secure in who we are. The kids are secure with who they are, and that they have two moms.” The family attends Bethany United Methodist Church where the kids volunteer as readers and greeters and the congregants know each of them by name.

It’s just enough to cave in the foreheads of fundamentalist Christianists.