American Girl Magazine Faces Criticism for Photo of Adopted Daughter and Two Dads

A conservative group suggested the magazine is pushing a homosexual agenda.

ByABC News
November 10, 2015, 1:18 PM
The Scheer family, from left, Greyson, 8, Rob, Makai, 8, Amaya, 11, Reece, and Tristan, 6.
The Scheer family, from left, Greyson, 8, Rob, Makai, 8, Amaya, 11, Reece, and Tristan, 6.
Joyce Smith

— -- A magazine for young girls is facing criticism from a conservative mother's group over a photo of an 11-year-old with her two fathers.

In the November/December issue of American Girl magazine, Amaya Scheer of Maryland is shown with her three younger brothers -- Greyson, Makai and Tristan -- along with their fathers, Rob (Daddy) and Reece (Dada). Amaya shares her experience in foster care and how her family works to give back to other kids through Rob's charity, Comfort Cases.

However, One Million Moms, an organization affiliated with the American Family Association, said in a blog post that its members are "disappointed" in American Girl for spotlighting Amaya's "Forever Family."

"1MM supports adoption and taking care of orphans as we are biblically instructed to do in Psalm 82:3, but American Girl could have focused the article on the child and not about the parents since it is a magazine for children. The magazine also could have chosen another child to write about and remained neutral in the culture war."

The group is encouraging readers to not only unsubscribe from American Girl magazine and catalog, but also avoid shopping at the company's stores until it stops "pushing the homosexual agenda to children."

Monica Cole, director of 1MM, told ABC News today that the group started its campaign against American Girl after receiving several complaints from AFA supporters.

"The article was great. The little girl is precious -- all the kids were precious. It's just, anything related to sexuality should be handled by the parents. Our issue is with the picture itself. It should have been left out. American Girl was pushing an agenda and being very politically correct."

Cole said many children whose parents subscribe to the magazine began asking questions too soon.

"It's a red flag for conservative parents because now they are not sure of what will be published in the future," Cole said.

Stephanie Spanos, a spokesperson for American Girl, told ABC News that Amaya's story exemplifies the company's mission to uplift young girls.

"American Girl stands in strong support of all girls everywhere. Our singular goal is to encourage, inspire, and unite girls of all ages and backgrounds, and we love shining a spotlight on their amazing gifts and achievements," Spanos said. "Amaya’s story about her efforts to help kids in foster care is a perfect example of how one young girl is making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. The article is very much in line with the thousands of others we’ve shared in American Girl magazine over the years, and we are proud to have shared Amaya’s story with our readers."

In her profile, Amaya recounts how she and Makai arrived at the Scheer's home with their belongings in trash bags. Fourth months later, Greyson and Tristan joined the family with trash bags in tow as well. This brought up old memories for her Daddy Rob, who did the same thing when he was in foster care, Amaya told American Girl, noting that Rob was so inspired by their common bond that he created Comfort Cases to "help kids in foster care feel better about themselves."

Amaya Scheer, 11, is featured in the Nov/Dec issue of American Girl Magazine with her adopted brothers and two dads.

"We provide nice new bags and backpacks for kids to travel with as they move around," Amaya said.

The packs include donated items such as toothpaste, pajamas and blankets, which Amaya said she helps sort through.

Reece Scheer told ABC News he and his husband see the American Girl story as Amaya's moment.