- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2000

INDIANAPOLIS A discrimination lawsuit filed by a man who claimed he was not allowed to adopt a 9-year-old girl because he is homosexual has been dropped by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union.
Craig Peterson had charged in a federal lawsuit filed in January that Bruce Stansberry, director of Madison County's Division of Family and Children, stopped Mr. Peterson from adopting the girl because of a public outcry against adoption by homosexuals.
But Sean Lemieux, an ICLU attorney, said that interviews with child welfare officials convinced him that they had followed appropriate procedures when Mr. Peterson sought to adopt the girl in 1998.
During pretrial interviews, the lawyers found that the girl had been evaluated by two psychologists who determined she would be harmed if forced to live with a homosexual man, Mr. Lemieux said. The child also appeared to be influenced by her foster parents, who have said homosexuality is sinful, he said.
The girl's foster father, Earl Kimmerling, had objected to her adoption when he discovered Mr. Peterson was homosexual.
Mr. Kimmerling ended up adopting the girl and, months later, he confessed to molesting her. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The girl now lives with Mr. Kimmerling's wife.
Mr. Peterson has already adopted the girl's three brothers. He had hoped to reunite the siblings, but ICLU attorneys said he has no other legal options.
"The whole thing is kind of depressing," Mr. Peterson told the Indianapolis Star. "How can I explain to 5, 6 and 7-year-olds that they can't see their sister?"

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