Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage



Comcast, Out and Equal host forum on adoption
by Liz Baudler

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

About 40 people from various organizations attended Comcast's Out and Equal's event, "Ever Thought About Adoption?," on May 16 at 901 W. Weed St, as part of Out and Equal's Citywide Pride Programming.

"We host programs like this that we believe will benefit our LGBTQ employees/OUT members," said Sean Janda-Forner, the co-lead of OUT@Comcast, the company's LGBTQ ERG. "As a service to the community at large, when we can, we include external LGBTQ organizations and members of LGBTQ ERGs from other companies so that they can benefit from our programs as well."

Janda added that the event, about a year and a half in the making, would ideally give attendees, especially LGBTQ ones, an idea of every side of the process.

Comcast Senior Director of Disability and Absence Scott Daniels introduced a panel of Comcast employees plus an adoption professional as being about the expectations, perceptions, myths that might come along with adoption. Daniels also mentioned that Comcast had wanted to change the culture for new parents, including the presumption of gender neutrality. Comcast benefits now include 12 weeks of paid parental leave for employees of any gender, and reimbursement for up to $10,000 of adoption related expenses.

"Those four little people have made everything worthwhile," said Comcast employee Violet Digiovanni, who has adopted four children from foster care, the latter two after her husband unexpectedly passed away.

Janda-Forner, who also took part in the panel, remembered feeling like he and his husband didn't know where to go to start the process and being concerned about how stereotypes about gay men might play into both adoption itself and his future child's potential experiences.

"We had no idea what to expect," said Janda-Forner. "Being a gay couple, how will other people react?"

Janda-Forner and his husband adopted their son back in 2012, about a month after he started at Comcast. He remembered feeling supported by his management at the time: when the opportunity to adopt suddenly arose, his manager immediately gave him two weeks paid leave.

Comcast's Jonathan Huber, adopted at birth, described his adoptive parents as "the most loving parents a child could ask for." In what he called a "talk show moment," Huber was able to reconnect with his birth mother and her family in his 30s. "I have two sets of parents that love me," Huber said, adding that he never felt different because of being adopted.

Janda-Forner invited Jane Turner, Executive Director of the Illinois Adoption Center, to the panel, as IAC was the agency that helped his family adopted. While Turner helped define different adoption options, she was very open about the "enormous variety" of possibilities when it came to adoption, including timeframe and cost. Turner defined timeframe possibilities as "quickly to never" and cost from "nothing to $60,000." Adopting through foster care and DFCS, Turner explained, adoptive parents may even get a subsidy, where private and international adoptions may cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Yet Turner also added that there are resources for those looking to adopt. "I don't want anyone to say it's too expensive," she said.

Turner said she likes to know the vision prospective families have for their adoption, and she outlined common misconceptions people have about their ability to be adoptive parents, including being single, gay, having student loans, renting vs. owning, on antidepressants, or being in an unmarried couple.

"Most of the barriers are not valid," Turner said, and added that in fact, in the last years, three birth mothers specifically requested same-sex male couples as potential adoptive families, so they could, as Turner put it, "be the only mom."

Both Digiovanni and Janda-Forner described the home visit stage of adoption as "scary," and fraught with potential judgement by outsiders. Janda-Forner also recalled the anxiety he felt between the time his son was born and his adoption was finalized.

"Get ready for an emotional roller-coaster," Janda-Forner said—but, he added, the emotions are not necessarily bad.

And Turner had words for the anxious prospective adoptive parent. "Never feel like you're doing it by yourself," she said.

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


Gay News

Emanuel, Johnson deploy 98 officers 2019-01-20 - Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Chicago Police Department ( CPD ) Superintendent Eddie Johnson announced the Department's second round of deployments for 2019, with ...

Gay News

Brian Bond Named New Executive Director of PFLAG National 2019-01-17 - WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, PFLAG National—the nation's first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ+ ) people, their families, and ...

Gay News

Bennett to be new state Human Rights director 2019-01-17 - Longtime activist and former Lambda Legal Midwest Regional Director James Bennett was named by Gov. J.B. Pritzker as the state's new Department of ...

Gay News

Cook County medic says boss 'outed' him as transgender 2019-01-16 - A medical technician who works at Cook County Jail said his supervisor "outed" him as transgender in a private meeting with three colleagues. ...

Gay News

Man Up Medical co-founder looks to past to shape present 2019-01-16 - Dean Hervochon dispenses words of advice like they are business cards. He is the guy who knows everything, as his friends tell ...

Gay News

WORLD Israel medical group, India's ban, Chechnya detention 2019-01-15 - Members who perform conversion therapy could now be expelled from the Israel Medical Association ( IMA )—which represents 90 percent of the country's ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Trans murder, U.S. House rules, N.C. loses business 2019-01-15 - The first transgender death of 2019 has occurred, as Dana Martin, 31, was fatally shot in Montgomery, Alabama, on Jan. 6, The Advocate ...

Gay News

Pro-LGBT groups laud N.Y. measures 2019-01-15 - On Jan. 15, the New York legislature passed two pro-LGBTQ bills—the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act ( GENDA ) and a law banning so-called ...

Gay News

Deadline looms for LGBT community-needs survey 2019-01-15 - Members of the Chicago region's LGBT community have until the end of the month to take part in an extensive survey measuring the ...

Gay News

Deportation protest at Gary/Chicago Airport Jan. 18 2019-01-15 - A coalition of social justice, immigration advocacy, anti-capitalist and left-wing organizations will be gathering at the Gary/Chicago International Airport to peacefully protest deportation ...


Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.








About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.