A little while ago I agreed to do an interview with the adoption agency who we went through for an article about LGBT Adoption & Fostering Week. At the time I thought it would be a written one and I would be able to take some time answering the questions. Unfortunately I then found out it would be over the phone and I nearly backed out of it. I’m much better at articulating myself in writing than talking, but eventually I decided to continue with it.
The article that was written was ok although nothing special, I can’t link to it as it is partially identifying, but instead I will do the written one I had planned in my mind based on the questions I was asked. Some of the answers I have already written about elsewhere in my blog, but here they are all in one place.
Why did you decide to adopt?
I always wanted to have children growing up, although I also never thought I would be able to because of my sexuality. When I met my partner we had discussed children, and decided that 2014 would be the year we looked into it properly. I did some research into surrogacy, but it didn’t sit right with us, so we looked into adoption. Once you start finding out about the children that are in need of a home and parents there is no going back. Our motivations for adoption were never altruistic, but as time went on and we found out more, it became more about wanting to do what’s best for the children in care, rather than what was best for us (although becoming parents was still our goal).
How did you find the adoption process?
For the most part it was a very positive experience, we were approved to adopt in 8 months, not quite as quickly as the shortest time it could be, but still much faster than we ever thought possible before we began. During the matching process we had a bit of a problem, but our social worker really helped us and supported us during that time. Once it came to meeting our children, we couldn’t have asked for a better experience. The foster carer was absolutely brilliant. We adopted our children in just over a year, which is very quick even with the streamlined approval process.
How have your lives changed since you adopted?
Our priorities have changed completely. It’s not like we were social butterflies to begin with, but now that we have children we’re perfectly happy to stay at home in the evenings, and go out and do activities with them at the weekend. I have altered my working hours so that I can always come home in time for their dinner and bed times. I really enjoy reading their bedtime stories to them.
What is the best thing about being an adoptive parent?
Seeing how our children have developed. Thinking about what they were like when they first came to us and what they are like now is amazing. They are like different children in their confidence levels and demeanour.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about going to an LGBT Adoption & Fostering event?
Do it. Go. Adoption is a life changing experience, and it is something you need to prepare for. Even if you aren’t sure at the moment, go and visit an event, speak to the people there, find out about the experiences people have had. You don’t have to commit to anything there and then, the events are about providing you with enough information to enable you to take the next step if you decide to.
Do you think being gay affected the adoption process for you at all?
No. Not in the slightest, but it was something we were worried about before we began. We wondered how everyone would react to us, especially on the training courses, but at no point did we ever feel like we were being treated differently to anyone else. During the assessment process we got asked all the questions anyone else would be asked, and none that seemed inappropriate.
Would you adopt again?
No. Two is enough. When we started we always said we wanted two children, although if a younger sibling appeared we would probably have a long think about it. What we are considering is to look into fostering in the future. That will depend entirely on how our children settle into starting school over the next couple of years. At that point we will decide what we will do.
To find out more about your local event visit New Family Social