Being a gay parent in the UK so many people often ask me why I decided to adopt rather than consider other parenting options. And for me, the answer is really easy. I wanted to be a parent. Its true there are other options to consider and I did consider them and explore them but they just didn’t feel right to me. Now I don’t claim to be any sort of adoption expert because that simply isn’t true. What I can do though, is share aspects of my experience with you in the hopes that it opens eyes, answers questions and perhaps encourages a few more people to adopt.
Around the age of sixteen, a friend ended up pregnant with her boyfriend who left her. She had her son and moved into her own flat.
Her life was complex but I spent a lot of time with her and her baby son. We would hang out at her flat, watching movies, ordering take aways and just being teenagers. It was a lot of fun. I loved seeing how in love she was with her son, in spite of the challenges of being a young mum.
Around the same time I realised I was different from other teenagers i knew. I liked boys not girls. It wasn’t the time for me to open up about my ‘true’ self a secret for quite some time. At home I daydreamed of being a parent, being a dad, having my own house and being independent. One day it would happen, but I had a life to live, university to go to, the world to travel and a great job to find.
Sharing my future plans with friends, adoption always came up quite naturally for me and this was met with varied responses. but that didn’t matter. It’s my decision. Being a parent by 40 became my goal. And those who know me, know that my determination and sometimes stubbornness will ensure that I achieve goals. Once I decide that I want something, I do everything I can to get it. And being a parent was simply another example of my determination. Out of many options to parenthood, adoption felt like the right choice for me.
Consider your options for becoming a parent before making your choice. Adoption just felt right for me.
Surrogacy is something that I looked into in a variety of ways. I contacted an agency to learn more about the more formal routes to surrogacy. Both the uncertainty and financial costs were off-putting. With surrogacy, there are many grey areas surrounding the legalities of the agreement. I felt the risks around that were too much for me to handle. The high risk of the mother bonding with and keeping the child was too much for me. How could you not bond with something growing inside of you? A close friend generously offered to be a surrogate for me and I was completely overwhelmed with this offer.
Fostering initially felt like a great option. On learning more, for me there were just too many complexities that I know I wouldn’t be comfortable with. Each case if very different so don’t let my comments put off any potential fosterers. But the idea of regular social worker contact plus sometimes birth family contact all simply didn’t feel like something I would want to deal with, never mind consider. So it became a no-no for me. I simply wanted to become a dad and be left to parenting without all the interference.
This left me with adoption to look into. Adoption is complex with lots to consider and its only when you scratch the surface you realise this. Did I want international adoption? Local adoption? what age was I hoping for? How many kids? What abilities and disabilities would I be able to handle? I started reading blogs, online forums, and anything else I could find on the subject. I didn’t know anyone who had adopted. I also arranged to attend a number of information events where local authorities and adoption agencies offer information and insight into the process.
Googling adoption agencies in my area, a list of organisations popped up on the screen. I made a list of them and i started to reach out to ask for more information on how to start the process. And that was me on my journey.
Little did I know that this would catapult me forward into a real rollercoaster journey.
Have you considered adoption? What questions do you have about adoption? Reach out and let me know.