As part of National Adoption Week 2013, we are sharing posts that show that all sorts of people are adoptive parents. Some people believe that you can’t adopt if you’re single, gay, disabled, have a long term illness, on a low income, don’t own your house, or are over or under certain ages. Through a series of guest bloggers this week, we’re showing that these things aren’t barriers to adoption…
Today Laura – one half of Two Mums, Two Kids? shares a bit more about adopting as part of a same-sex couple.
I often feel that because of my sexuality I have been able to cope with the fact that my family has been formed in a less-than-usual way. Growing up as a gay teenager I didn’t really expect to be able to get married or have children, so I think I had already integrated the loss of a biological family into my expectations. I have already resolved in myself that the way I live my life is not the way that I was raised to be prepared for – but I’m incredibly happy and lucky to be different.
As a lesbian couple we had other options for starting a family, but for us it felt right to offer a secure and permanent loving family home for a child who needed one – through adoption.
My daughter is amazing and precious and the fact that she was born to someone else does not diminish that one bit. Once we were a two-piece puzzle, but now we are a three-piece puzzle: she has completed our family. We love her unconditionally for everything she is and for anything she will become.
She is at an age where she is becoming interested in the difference between boys and girls, men and women and she notices books where the family is a Mummy and a Daddy. She knows that she has a Mama instead of a Daddy and is very matter-of-fact about it.
In our family we celebrate all kinds of difference so the main message we try to get across “families come in different forms, all of which are OK”.
I sense that sometimes other people wonder how you can have a family with two Mummies but to me it doesn’t feel like that’s what we are. I feel like we’re a family of 3 with a Mummy and a Mama. Our daughter has two parents who share caring for her and all the domestic tasks that a family needs. She will grow up knowing that your gender should not be a barrier to achieving anything you want to. Heck, you can even put up shelves and take out the bins if you want to!
We have not experienced any discrimination throughout our adoption journey. At our “preparing to adopt” course prior to approval we were not the only gay couple there and our agency was nothing but sensitive and supportive. In our home study work we were asked to write a piece on how we would ensure our child had male role models in their life.
Our attitude was that we would provide the widest possible opportunity for her to find role models from either gender and from a variety of backgrounds not only do we want her to see there are plenty of ways to be a man, but there are plenty of ways to be a woman too.
It has not always been an easy ride for us, but not because of our sexuality, primarily because of all the ups and downs that come with approval, matching and settling into life as a new family. Having said that I wouldn’t have it any other way and I have found it to be a life-changing and rewarding experience.
If you are Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgendered and are considering adoption of fostering New Family Social (NFS) is a charity set up to offer advice and support to help you on your journey. There is an online forum for chats and help and also regional groups where you can meet up with other LGBT foster/adopt families. We think it’s important the our daughter meets other children so she doesn’t feel like she’s unusual for being adopted and having same sex-parents. NFS provides a very strong network of amazing families across the UK and through them we’ve met some really great friends.
If you are interested in finding out more about National Adoption Week please visit this website http://nationaladoptionweek.org.uk/