Local News

Gay parents hope abuse case does not limit adoptions

Posted June 29, 2009

While Frank Lombard awaits his transfer to Washington, D.C., to face child sex charges, some Triangle dads worry that his alleged crimes could reflect poorly on their desire to raise a family.

Shawn Long and his partner adopted a son in 2006. Gay parents fight discrimination

Lombard, who is gay, is accused of inviting an undercover officer to have sex with this adopted 5-year-old son. In a search warrant for his home, investigators released a transcript of a Web chat between Lombard and Det. Timothy Palchak of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department. In it, Lombard invited Palchak, who he did not realize was a police detective, to fly to Durham to have sexual contact with the child.

Lombard told Palchak that he shared his home at 24 Indigo Creek Trail in Durham with a homosexual partner, but that partner did not know about his activities. Authorities have not arrested the partner, and do not suspect he was involved in any crimes.

When officers arrested Lombard Wednesday at his home, two children were present, the FBI said. Both were taken into protective custody by the North Carolina Department of Social Services.

Under North Carolina law, an unmarried couple – whether gay or straight -- can not adopt a child together. For an unmarried couple to adopt, one person must adopt the child as a single parent, then the second person can also adopt the child. It is not clear whether Lombard’s partner had adopted the child at the heart of this case.

Shawn Long, a gay dad in Durham, is an advocate for adoption, and worries that Lombard has cast a shadow on homosexual parents.

“Gay parenting is just parenting,” Long said Monday.

Long and his partner have been together for 15 years. Three years ago, they adopted a son. The process was long and complicated. The couple went through background checks, home visits and parenting classes with straight couples.

"We watched as each one got a placement and they adopted their kid and we waited and we waited and we waited and as a gay family it was a bit longer for us," Long recalled.

Now, he worries that Lombard’s case could make the process even more difficult. “What has happened is horrible, but it's just an example of a single bad person," Long said.

Attorney Sharon Thompson has seen the discrimination gay couples face. "There is more discrimination. They've got limited agencies. They can't do foreign adoptions because most foreign countries don't want gay adoptions,” she said.

Long said he believes those challenges are greater for men. “It is definitely much easier for two females to adopt as a family than for two males,” he said.

For Long and his family, the wait was worth it. “I love him more than I can ever say," he said of his 7-year-old son.

He hopes the news of one person’s alleged crimes does not reflect on his family, or others who want to be parents.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • Jack Flash Jul 1, 2009

    "My point remains...maybe, just maybe the GAY ACTIVIST Community needs to take a LONG HARD LOOK at their own HATE MONGERING and SELF CENTERED OBSESSION with their own sexuality!"

    Your point remains rather dull. Based on your logic, I could discriminate against you based on, say, the type of car you drive, and if you defend your car choice, it is you who is being self-centered and obsessed. What hate did Mr. Long express? It sounded to me like he was concerned about being discriminated against, but he wasn't lashing out at anyone. His concern seems well-grounded, too, based on your comments and those of others here.

  • Jack Flash Jul 1, 2009

    "I didn't hear any concern for the child(ren) expressed by Mr. Long. Just the typical self centered, its all about me, Gay Rights agenda..."

    Well, if someone interviewed me about my running shoes, I probably wouldn't drop in references to my own children and the children of the world and how concerned I am for all of them, and if I did, the writer would do well to cut those comments from the article.
    And the father did reference his love for his own son. Did you miss that?
    If the dad has a pro-gay agenda, well, how is that any different from the anti-gay agenda you and others are expressing here? If you're not sticking to lamenting the poor boy's situation, instead talking about why gays shouldn't be allowed to adopt, or criticizing a father for feeling antsy even as you and others make such broad and disapproving judgments of his family, isn't that an agenda and a distraction, and one with a lot less personal investment at stake?

  • affirmativediversity Jun 30, 2009


    If Mr. Long's concerns were misrepresented by WRAL then he needs to complain to them...HOWEVER...I DOUBT IT!

    I believe Mr. Long's sole purpose was to STIR the ANTI HETEROSEXUAL POT. I don't for a second believe that upon the arrest of this hideious pedophile the authorities thought was "oh, gosh we better stop homosexual adoptions".

    My point remains...maybe, just maybe the GAY ACTIVIST Community needs to take a LONG HARD LOOK at their own HATE MONGERING and SELF CENTERED OBSESSION with their own sexuality!

  • Wenchmaid Jun 30, 2009

    First off, let's realize that only four sentences of what was probably a much longer interview with Mr. Long were printed. I doubt that Mr. Long was being self-centered and more likely had some of his comments edited for length. What human can read about Lombard and not react with revulsion for him and sadness and sympathy for the children in his care?

    Second, I am in full support of gay adoption. Anyone who can provide a child with a happy, healthy, safe, and loving home should be allowed to do so. Gays and straights are equally capable of doing so. I hope that everyone realizes that this sad and horrific situation is the result of pedophilia and not homosexuality.

  • TallWillow Jun 30, 2009

    I am an adoptive parent and yeah..this has turned into GAY RIGHTS AGAIN! What about the children's right to have a safe home. The man was in an immoral relationship...bhold

    The reason it's turned into a "gay rights" issue is bigoted people who think that because /they/ believe that being gay is immoral that one gay person who abuses a child "proves" that no gay people should be allowed to adopt.

    I certainly didn't see any of you saying that straight people shouldn't be allowed to adopt in all the stories about straight child molesters.

    Behld, as an adoptive parent, you of all people should know that the parental bond with a child comes from parenting, not from conceiving.

  • TallWillow Jun 30, 2009

    "Self identify is the key word here and if it is male on male or woman on woman then are not straight they are gays."

    Gandalla, they don't just "self-identify" as straight. They are living in one of these so-called "normal" male-female couples, and their consensual partners are adult women.

    Having sex with a child makes one a pedophile. Pedophilia is a pathological paraphilia--aka a perversion--NOT a sexual orientation.

    To those that referred to Lombard as a pervert, you're right--but NOT because he's gay. It's his abuse of this child (& heaven only knows how many others) that makes him a pervert.

    Those of you that don't understand the difference between sexual orientation and paraphilias need to educate yourselves before commenting on things you are ignorant of.

  • TallWillow Jun 30, 2009

    I was not talking about heterosexuals...[but] HOMOsexuals...what I'm saying...makes PERFECT sense to me. Squeek

    It may make sense to you, but NOT in the real world. By your "logic" MEN shouldn't be parents, since they don't know what it's like to carry a child in their bodies. Pure foolishness.

    It's not the pregnancy that creates a bond between parent and child, it's what comes after that. And yes, I have a bio child.

    Same goes for anyone who thinks that the ability to conceive a child has sometning to do w/being a good parent and thus, gay couples shouldn't raise children. Again, pure foolishness! Will you say the same to infertile couples who desperately want children?

    Then again, the comment about not having sex without b/c as a solution to these issues shows a similar disconnect w/reality. A) it's not going to happen & B) it won't solve the problem. Most kids available for adoption are older & abused, not babies from unintended pregnancies.

  • crustyhalo Jun 30, 2009

    Judges are elected for the purpose of criminal and civil actions.Not to decide if a person is immoral because they are gay.....squeek...

  • SaltlifeLady Jun 30, 2009

    mom2two- the only logical thing you said there was that the best thing for a child was a loving home. Two parents - one male, one female, does not always guarentee that. There are plenty of single parents, and non-traditional couples that raise children in very loving environments and the kids turn out to be responsible, productive, loving members of society. There is alot to be learned by the children from single parents and non-traditional couples--tolerance being one of them.

  • Lead by Example Jun 30, 2009

    "90-95 percent of men who molest/abuse children self identify as straight." - deborahgfan71

    What is the source of your statistic?