Watch: Religious School Turns Away 5-Year-Old after Lesbian Aunts Adopt Her

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Sunday August 14, 2022
Originally published on August 12, 2022

Emily and Jennifer Parker with their neice - now adopted duaghter - Zoey
Emily and Jennifer Parker with their neice - now adopted duaghter - Zoey  (Source:Emily Parker/Facebook)

A same-sex couple who adopted their orphaned niece were shocked when Bible Baptist Academy in DeQuincy, Louisiana, refused to allow the child into its kindergarten, NBC News reports.

Married couple Emily and Jennie Parker had taken in Zoey, the daughter of Emily's 22-year-old brother, following his death due to a work-related accident in 2020.

"Zoey attended pre-school at the school last year and had many friends there and loved her teachers, the couple said," the NBC News article recounted.

The child, now age 5, was ready to start kindergarten; her aunts had bought her a new school uniform and paid the fees, reports say, and all was in place for Zoey to be in attendance as school began on Aug. 8.

But the weekend after the couple formally adopted Zoey on Aug. 3, things abruptly changed. Two days before the start of school, "We got called into the principal's office for a meeting, they informed us that Zoey wouldn't be able to go to school there anymore because of our lifestyle choices," Jennifer told news station WLBT.

Emily added: "The pastor met us in the meeting room and started talking about gender identification, and that they teach the words of the Lord and marriage was between a man and a women.

"They didn't think this was a good fit."

Jennifer lamented: "She lost her father; she lost her mother, and now she's losing her school which she loves very much."

"Bible Baptist Academy said in a statement that the school is 'committed to instructing and living in accordance with the teachings of Scripture,' " the news station reported.

The school sees itself as responding in a loving fashion. "There are times where our commitment to upholding our Christian values will not line up with the values of other people. This should not be interpreted that we have any hatred or malice toward them," the school stated.

"We are just as committed to loving all people as we are to holding to Bible principles that people may not agree with or may not understand."

Zoey's new mothers see it differently: "A blessing in disguise," Jennifer said. "We have an opportunity to bring her to a school which is a little closer, and it's a new opportunity for her to make new friends."

In an Aug. 11 Facebook post, Emily shared that Zoey had begun kindergarten at a different school. "We couldn't have made it here without the love and support of our friends, family, and community," Emily posted. "Thank you!"

To watch the WLBT news report, follow this link.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.