Child of lesbian parents says she desperately wanted a dad

by Vanessa Garcia Rodriguez, |
Raised by lesbian parents, Heather Barwick now is a children's rights activist who advocates for the protection of traditional family. | Women of Grace Blog

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Christian Examiner) -- A Christian woman raised by lesbian parents published an open plea to the gay community in which she asks "Why can't gay people's kids be honest?" and shares the languish of her loss of a father and traditional family.

Heather Barwick, a former gay marriage advocate now a childrens' right activist, shared a transparent testimony of personal pain resulting from "the nature of the same sex relationship" in The Federalist Tuesday.

"I'm writing to you because I'm letting myself out of the closet: I don't support gay marriage. But it might not be for the reasons that you think," Barwick wrote before explaining her position was not for a lack of love for the homosexual community, but for "the long term consequences" she personally experienced from same-sex parenting.

Today a married mother of four, Barwick said "it's only now, as I watch my children loving and being loved by their father each day, that I can see the beauty and wisdom in traditional marriage and parenting."

Barwick claimed her upbringing caused her long-term turmoil because her internal struggles were diminished by the messages of her mother's lesbian community.

"It is a strange and confusing thing to walk around with this deep-down unquenchable ache for a father, for a man, in a community that says that men are unnecessary."

A story published in World Magazine earlier this month gives further insight to Barwick's story and reveals she was abandoned by her father when her parents split at age 3. She told the publication she was eventually able to find healing for her "father wound" through her Christian faith.

"It really wasn't until I came to Christ that I felt that burden lifted off of me. And I'm not bitter. I'm not angry," she said.

Among other issues Barwick lay bare in her editorial were the unspoken burdens children from same-sex unions carry and the inability to speak about their pain.

Comparing the open nature with which children of divorced or adoptive families speak of their broken childhoods, Barwick claimed youth raised by same-sex parents "have not been given the same voice."

"If we say we are hurting because we were raised by same-sex parents, we are either ignored or labeled a hater."

Still, Barwick says her message is not about hate, but about beginning a conversation that advocates for best benefit of children.

"We know there are so many different ways that the family unit can break down and cause kids to suffer: divorce, abandonment, infidelity, abuse, death, etc. But by and large, the best and most successful family structure is one in which kids are being raised by both their mother and father."

Barwick's editorial piece comes only days after the openly gay fashion designers Dolce and Gabbana spoke out in support of a traditional family. The Italian business partners received harsh criticism for their remarks that led to a social media war between the men and gay celebrities calling for a boycott of the brand.

Since then Barwick and six others raised by same-sex parents drafted and signed a letter to the designers in support of their message valuing traditional family.

"We want to thank you for giving voice to something that we learned by experience: Every human being has a mother and a father, and to cut either from a child's life is to rob the child of dignity, humanity, and equality," the letter states.

Four other children of gay parents have gone public to state their opposition to same-sex marriage and gay adoption, mostly for the same reasons articulated by Barwick.

Katy Faust, Robert Oscar Lopez, B.N. Klein and Dawn Stefanowicz testified via amici curiae briefs to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which took up a case in January to decide whether to strike down same-sex marriage bans in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. In essence, each of the four said same-sex marriage is damaging to children, in part because of exposure to harmful behavior, but mainly because children are not allowed to experience a natural biological relationship with a father and a mother.

All of the grown children offered compelling testimonies, but Faust summarized nicely the essence of the statements by the other three.

"This is truly human trafficking: manipulating children into existence to satisfy the desires of adults," she said.

"With the redefinition of marriage, we are not simply allowing people to form relationships of their choosing," Faust explained. "They have been doing so for decades."

"Now we are normalizing a family structure where a child will always be deprived daily of one gender influence and the relationship with at least one natural parent. Our cultural narrative becomes one that, in essence, tells children that they have no right to the natural family structure or their biological parents, but that children simply exist for the satisfaction of adult desires," she testified.

Regarding Dolce and Gabbana, an online petition has been generated urging the duo to stay firm in their stance for traditional family and offering support for their courageous public stand.