By GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press
Sara Wheeler's life has become a contradiction. Once a proud lesbian, she's now a pariah in the gay community. Once in a committed relationship with a female partner, she's rethinking her sexuality.
And now she's doing something she once would have considered unthinkable — arguing that gays don't have the legal right to adopt children.
Wheeler is coming to grips with the fact that she's become an outcast for taking this step in a custody fight for her child. But she says that isn't what her fight is about: "It's about motherly rights."
Wheeler, 36, and her partner, Missy, decided to start a family together and share the Wheeler last name. In 2000, Sara Wheeler gave birth to a son, Gavin, through artificial insemination. Two years later, they decided Missy Wheeler should adopt the child and legally become his second parent.
Georgia law doesn't specifically say whether gay parents can adopt a child, so the decision was up to a judge in the Atlanta area's DeKalb County. After an adoption investigator determined that both partners wanted it, the judge cleared the request.
The couple's relationship later soured. Missy Wheeler wouldn't comment for this story, but her attorney, Nora Bushfield, said Sara became involved with someone else and wouldn't let Missy and Gavin see each other.
Sara Wheeler acknowledged the other relationship, saying "regardless of my action, it doesn't make me a bad mother."
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