Gay dad honored by Jewish Family and Children Services

The Bay Area Reporter announces that gay adoption lawyer Charlie Spiegel [pictured] was honored for his 20 years of service to LGBT families by the Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

Spiegel’s work was recognized with a Fammy Award from the agency, which also helped him adopt his own daughter in 1997.

The B.A.R. reports:

Same-sex families, particularly those formed through adoption, were still virtually invisible in the 1990s, when Spiegel began volunteering his legal services to gay couples. He remembers attending educational panels about same-sex couples and adoption, and seeing the same gay male couple on every panel that he attended.

After accepting his award, Spiegel recalled the moment when he realized his parenthood was real was when his daughter’s birth mother drove away from the hospital and left Nora with Spiegel and his ex-partner. “As the cab drove off it was the moment when I totally lost it emotionally… this woman just came here and entrusted her child to us,” Spiegel remembered.

“I could never have imagined the joys of having a child.” Spiegel said. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful gift.”

According to its website, the Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties has offered support for more than 157 years.

Founded in 1850 by Gold Rush pioneers, JFCS is the oldest social service agency west of the Mississippi. Since its inception, JFCS has been a catalyst for change. With more than 40 programs serving more than 58,000 people annually in the Greater West Bay Area of Northern California, JFCS reaches out with comprehensive, integrated social services, helping people in the most effective, compassionate way possible, and providing people of all ages, faiths and ethnic backgrounds with the encouragement and tools they need to become productive and self-reliant.

Image: Drew Altizer