To learn how gay parents will be counted in the 2010 Census,
Kelly Fondow of Oak Park has two daughters, separated by 14
years and changing times. Fondow was a college student with a
1-year-old daughter, Grace, when she realized she was ready to come
out as a lesbian.
"The interesting thing was, there was just not a whole lot of
gay families, certainly not in their early 20s like me," Fondow
says of that time in the early 1990s.
Kelly Fondow and RoiAnn Phillips with
Grace, 19, and Eva, 5.
She decided the best way to raise her child was to be open about
who they were as a family. "It was my responsibility to be out and
open and pave the way for her, so that if someone was going to have
a reaction, they'd have that reaction with me first," she says.
Now 19, Grace became a big sister when Fondow and her partner
RoiAnn Phillips adopted Eva, now 5, from Guatemala.
"There was a big difference between when Grace was this age and
Eva. What Eva has as an advantage is that there are other kids in
her class with same-sex parents," Fondow says. "Grace was a bit of
a groundbreaker and she knew that."
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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