Adoption rally held at AL Capitol following rep's controversial - - The News for South Mississippi

Adoption rally held at AL Capitol following rep's controversial remarks


Angry parents rallied at the Alabama Capitol Wednesday in response to comments by State Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) about white families adopting black children. The rally comes on the heels of Rep. Holmes' controversial comments last month about trans-racial adoptions. 

[READ: Montgomery mother hopes lawmaker can become "colorblind" 3/31/14]

"I will bring you 100,000 cash dollars tomorrow if you show me a whole bunch of whites that adopted blacks in Alabama," Holmes said, while debating on an abortion bill.

At Wednesday's rally, Beverly Owings took to the podium saying, "When my 13-year-old daughter heard the words of Alvin Holmes, she said mom what about our family?"

The Owings have four children, all of whom are adopted and of different races and genders. When Beverly and her husband, Jeromy, found out they were unable to have biological children, they turned their devastation into something positive.

"God blessed our family through the gift of adoption," Beverly said.

When they heard what Holmes said, they were alarmed and upset.

"To make those comments and tear down everything we had worked for, and it puts a question in their mind now: "Do I belong? where do I belong?" Jeromy said.

Havin Owings added, "There could be other young people that would allow Mr. Holmes harsh words to tear them down. He should be ashamed for making the statements he made about families like mine. Please look at my family and see that we are real."

Joseph Kemp, who is also adopted said, "I love my family because my family loves me."

For them, love is color blind. Parents say whether the children are adopted or biological, they love each one of them equally.

"You would see that Joseph and Isaiah and Nathaniel and Josiah are all our boys, and we don't see them differently," said Joseph's dad, Scott. 

Beyond showing there are many mixed adoptive families, there is a hope the rally will be a call to others.

"I hope everybody realizes that there are lots of kids out there that actually need to be adopted," said Thomas Casson. "We would appreciate it if people would become foster families and also be willing to open their homes to adoption."

Casson and his wife have five adopted children.

One of his sons, Sam, chimed in saying, "I love my family!"

Attempts to reach out to Rep. Holmes were unsuccessful. He did not return calls. When asked last week about the comments, he said then that he stood behind his original comments.

Experts say there are more than 250 children in Alabama in need of adopting.

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