As America celebrates Father’s Day, Jake Summerill-Bizzell takes part in a double celebration.
A few years after their commitment ceremony in 2003, Joe Summerill and Wes Bizzell, both attorneys, adopted newborn Jake, from a young mother who gave birth at Baltimore’s St. Agnes Hospital. The two dads had another ceremony in 2010, attended by their son, when they became husband and husband, after same-sex unions became legal,
Jake calls Summerill “Dad”, and he calls Bizzell “Papa”.
The two were among the first gay partners to adopt a child with the Maryland-based non-profit agency Adoptions Together, founded in 1990 by Janice Goldwater, CEO of the organization.
“I started the agency because there was a gap in the adoption community,” Goldwater said. “Many religious organizations only served their own kind. There was no organization that welcomed single parents, same-sex parents, married couples of all religions and all races.
“We wanted to serve every child who was in need of a family.”
Here, Joe Summerill reflects on being the recipient of the prize of that work — the gift of Jake, a baby raised by two fathers who is now a healthy, strong, confident and deeply loved teenager.