BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Part of the ongoing fight for equality for the LGBTQ+ community is the right to become parents. One local dad has made it his mission to help same-sex couples adopt.
"I've always wanted to be a father, honestly as long as I can remember," said David Marshall.
For him, having a son like Josiah was something he once only dreamed of, and his adoption process was relatively seamless in Maryland.
"The adoption process here in Maryland is pretty straightforward for same-sex couples," said family attorney Allyson Goldscher. "Maryland doesn't treat same-sex couples any differently than heterosexual couples."
But the process isn't so easy for everyone. Recent data by the Movement Advancement Project shows 12 states have laws allowing child welfare agencies to refuse to place or provide services to LGBTQ+ people and same-sex couples.
That's why Marshall started "Journey to Josiah" a non-profit organization aimed to help educate and connect families with the gift of adoption.
"In Maryland, we are a largely liberal state, right? So we don't have many of the barriers that other southern states have in terms of really being shut out of the process because of being gay," Marshall said.
The organization helps families to avoid the pitfalls and problems in the adoption process.
"Who determines who is qualified to be a parent? If you have love within your heart, then you are qualified to be a parent."
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