Starting to start our family

I’ve never really thought about writing a blog before, mostly because I haven’t really had anything worthwhile to write about, until now at least.

My partner and I are a gay couple and we are about to start the process of applying to adopt. I have always wanted to have children, but had pretty much given up on the idea because I am gay, I know in this day and age there are options available for having biological children but something never really sat right for me with those, so we have discounted them as a possibility. After looking into it some, we decided that adoption was the way forward for us, and after attending a couple of informational events it really hit home with us how many children there are out there that need a decent home to be brought up in. We think, and hope, that we are capable of providing that.

Over the course of the last few months, we’ve been reading up on people’s experiences of the process and trying to find out what to expect. Some of the most useful information that we’ve found have been on blogs, and so I thought that I might start my own in order to share our experiences from the outset.

What has become apparent is that recently the adoption approval process has been shortened from potentially a couple of years+ to a far shorter 6 months. We haven’t really entered the process yet but the impression that I get, having spoken to social workers and other adoption agency employees, is that even though the time period is shorter prospective parents are still expected to pretty much do all the same things in the 6 months that had been expected of them when it took over a year. Whether this is a good thing or not I’m sure we will find out in due course.

In last few weeks we’ve been thinking hard about who to use as our personal references. In the end we decided on my brother, one of my friends who I’ve known since school and was a ‘bridesmaid’ at our wedding, and one of my partner’s friends who he’s known for a good number of years. All of them have kids already or are about to have kids, have seen us interact with children fairly regularly and what was really nice is that all of them seemed honoured to be asked to be a reference for us (and if any of them ever read this, thank you so much!).

Yesterday we filled in the application form. I’ll probably be marked down for saying this if an ‘official’ ever sees it, but the BAAF adoption form that we received from the adoption agency (our local county council) was appallingly bad, it was badly formatted, had repeated questions (phrased differently but definitely asking for the same information) and was printed on the cheapest, thinnest paper known to mankind. I took the liberty of scanning it and printing out another copy on better paper so that we could fill it in without ruining the official copy.

Before we began I had an excited knot in my stomach, it was a nice feeling I have to say, proving that even my subconscious was on board! I filled in the draft copy with my partner sitting over me reassuring me of answers that I wasn’t sure of. We just about managed to fit all of our answers into the available space without resorting to using a ‘separate sheet of paper’ as was recommended. He then volunteered to fill in the actual copy (his writing has always been better than mine), but he kicked me out of the room as apparently my standing over him would make him make mistakes! So I spent the next half an hour or so pacing around the house and playing with the dogs. After that I was called back in to sign the bottom of the form, and the front of the form too just for good measure.

We can’t post the form off just yet as my partner wants to have an official meeting with his HR person at work (who rather inconveniently is on holiday for the next two weeks) beforehand, as we know we’ll be asked questions about what our work plans are after the adoption beyond what the form has already asked and we want to be able to give proper answers rather than conjecture. I will write the next post once we have, probably after we’ve heard back from the social worker, which will be within 5 days of them receiving it.

Watch this space.

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