By Ilana Bernstein
When 11-year-old Amaya Scheer was featured in a recent issue of American Girl magazine, she never expected the backlash she’d face. Amaya was highlighted for her efforts to help kids who live in foster homes, but when the conservative group One Million Moms saw the article, the focus turned to the fact that Amaya has two dads.
According to NBC Washington, Amaya and her three brothers, Greyson, Makai and Tristan, all grew up in foster care before being adopted by their fathers, Rob and Reece Scheer.
The Washington Post reports that Rob, also raised in foster care, knew that many kids in the system rely on trash bags to carry all their belongings from home to home. He decided to give back by founding a charity called Comfort Cases, which provides backpacks with items such as pajamas, toothbrushes, blankets and stuffed animals for foster children.
Though Amaya was excited to share the work she does with her family, she was disappointed to learn that One Million Moms had totally missed the point. The organization encouraged readers of American Girl to cancel their subscriptions to the magazine, posting this statement on its website: “American Girl is attempting to desensitize our youth by featuring a family with two dads. If your child has not seen this yet, then be careful she is not exposed and can avoid a premature conversation she is far too young to understand.”
“I don’t live in a plastic bubble,” Rob Scheer told The Washington Post. “I am a gay man, and I have four African-American kids. I understand people out there are ugly, but I didn’t expect a group of moms to say we are sinners.”
Julie Parks, a spokeswoman for American Girl, agreed that she was disappointed in the response, sharing that the magazine only ever meant to “shine a spotlight on a girl who is making a difference.”
The Scheers’ hope is that the media attention brings more donations so they can continue to provide Comfort Cases and other resources to as many foster kids as possible. To learn more about the organization, go to comfortcases.org.
What do you think of the controversy surrounding Amaya and her family? We want your opinion!
Reprinted with permission from girlslife.com.