In the spring of 2004, I received a phone call from a friend. She knew a young girl who was pregnant and would consider letting me adopt her baby at birth. This girl was only 15 years old and already had a 2-year-old daughter.

This 15-year-old came from a home where her mother was a drug addict and registered sex offender of young boys. Her stepfather was an alcoholic. There was a lot of abuse and neglect in the home.

To adopt my son, I had to leave a loving relationship with my same-sex partner because, according to Utah law, I had to be single to adopt a child. If I had not done this, he would have stayed in that environment. What kind of life would he have had?

Since his adoption, his mother, now 19, has had another child. Both children have been taken away from her and put into state foster care.

HB318, sponsored by Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck, will remove the cohabitation restriction from the current adoption law so children, like my son, will have the opportunity to be raised in a loving, two-parent home — no matter the sexual orientation of their parents.

My son has everything a 3 year old could ever want — with the exception of the benefits that come from having two, legal parents.

These are just some of the reasons this bill needs to be changed. Give these children the right to a loving home.

Cindy M. Piper