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Serious question-any gay mums/dads on line?(13 Posts)
Just curious-watched a programme today on adoption (very close to my heart as I was adopted) and saw a lesbian gay couple adopting a little boy. Sorry if that's not the PC way of wording it but it suddenly struck me, where do people like those ladies go for chats. There must be gay websites but I just wondered if anyone here was in that situation, and if so, I'd like to say hello. I wasn't sure before about the ifs and buts, as it were, but those ladies made me cry. That child needed loving and their families were so supportive and yet I wondered, how would it be in your "back yard?". This is not meant to be a gay/not gay question, just a query if there are an gay couples listening in?
i know there was a thread a little while ago about it and therea a few gay/bisexual moms on here.
must have missed that one..oh well, start trawlng through old threads. Kids won't be in bed, cat won't get fed and as for Dh, well!!! He won't get anything either!
I'm here! dp (a woman) and I have 2 ds's - 3 & 1 - we each had one, but before we had our own we were approved as long-term/permanency foster carers. It was an incredibly long, difficult (emotionally) process as our council hadn't got a same sex foster/adoptive couple, so we were trail blazing for them! We were finally approved (it took almost twice as long for us than for a 'normal' couple) and then the heartbreak really set in...we'd be sent magazines of children needing homes, and we'd 'apply' but then be rejected time after time. The reasons given were mainly "lack of male role model", which we really objected to, as we knew single Mums could foster/adopt. Basically we came up against a lot of prejudice and reluctance to take a chance and place a child/children with us, even though we were trained, keen and able...
After a couple of years we gave up and decided to have our own! Haven't regretted this decision for a second, but sometimes still wonder what life would have been like if we'd have been allowed to foster. We sometimes think we'll return to it when our own kids are older, but in reality we'll probably be too knackered to do this!
I've had brilliant support from Mumsnet through my dp's and my own pregnancy and haven't come across any prejudice - just wonderful advice and help when I've needed it. I suppose anyone who doesn't think what we've done is right doesn't post! I wouldn't mind if they did - we've had plenty of conversations with people who haven't been sure we've done the right thing, and we've of course had our doubts ourselves - it took us another 18 months or so just to think through whether we should have our own children. But life's great for us and ds's are wonderful!
Dot1, good for you and your dp - I find it shocking that you came up against so many brick walls when it came to fostering/adopting though - especially in this day and age . . .
It was just endlessly frustrating, seeing all these kids, knowing we could make a difference and had the emotional, financial, etc. capacity, but not being allowed to go ahead. Maybe things would be different even now - this was about 6 years ago - let's hope so...
I hope so too, it drives me mad to see this kind of narrow thinking. My friend Alex would love children one day and I did once (in the pub admittedly) offer my services, we both laughed at the time but I still would for him. I know for a fact that he and his partner would make fantastic parents, and as for lack of "mother" influence? - surely that would be where I come in? but I would also respect my place in that child's upbringing.
I do believe children appreciate the facts and unconditional love before anything else. It is just sad that a complete stranger can dictate a child's future because of outdated, narrowminded thinking, then ship them off to an unsuitable couple just because they are "following" the normal parameters.
sorry, had no idea my soapbox was such a high climb!!
Dot1 - just curious, and hope you don't mind me asking...what do you tell your ds' when they ask "do I have a daddy"? or "where's my daddy"? And, have you figured out how your ds' will respond to questions from their peers?
By the way, I completely support the decision you and your dp have made, and am not asking for any judgemental reasons. Just wonder how you will respond to the inevitable childhood curiousity of your own sons, and their friends.
And, how far do you go in explaining your situation to others who are not close friends? On the one hand, it's clear that it's not something that's a "secret", but it is "private". So, when do you leave people to draw their own conclusions about your situation
(which are probably incorrect), and when do you offer explanations to clear up any confusion?
Hope I'm not prying too much, but would appreciate and value your thoughts on this.
Of course Earlybird - no problem answering questions! We're really lucky in that our donor is a friend who we now live very near to (just down the road!) and before we started trying for a baby the 3 of us took a year to think about how it would work. Basically he didn't want any direct involvement in bringing up children, but was happy to be named on the birth certificates, and happy for everyone (including ds's) to know who he is. This has worked brilliantly. Ds's (particularly ds1, who's 3) have been told the story of their conception from day 1 and ds1 adores his Daddy - we see him every couple of months - he comes round for a meal or we go to see him, and I think he's quite proud that he's got 2 sons and very pleased he doesn't have to do the hard graft! Ds1 is very clear he's got 2 Mummies and 1 Daddy - he makes father's day cards etc. - and knows that other children have either a Mummy and Daddy at home, or sometimes just a Mummy etc.
As ds's get older my bet is that their Dad will want a bit more involvement - we've talked about him taking them to football/cricket (he's very sporty!) matches, which is great - we're all open to the relationships developing as time goes on.
I think with something like this you take a chance and we're lucky it's working - but we did take a good period of time to think it all through - all the best case/worst case scenarios, so we were sure we were all as emotionally prepared as possible.
So we're open with everyone we know and meet and so far ds's nurseries/playgroups have been great. We've already flagged up our situation to ds1's potential primary school and they've also been fine. I think if we're open right from the start there are no secrets and nothing to feel worried/anxious about. Of course we're not going to be able to control children teasing/bullying ds's, so our job over the next few years is to make them feel as secure and proud as possible of their family!
Sorry if this is a long post - but I enjoy talking about it as each time I do it's an opportunity to think it through again - so thanks!
dot1- I hadn't realised before- so you had the same donor? I think that's really nice (lame word, but I mean nice as in cozy iyswim).
There was a tv programme recently which featured a lesbian couple trying to conceive. They used an anon donor from a website, but they couldn't hack the strain of ttc and split up after a few goes. I got the impression (although only from the prog so possibly not true) that one partner waqs far more into the idea than the other, probably not a good start.
Hi Puma! Anytime you want a chat I'm usually around bobbing about here and there!
Jimjams - yes, we were really clear that (a) we wanted a known donor - didn't like the thought of our children never knowing who their father was, as family history and knowing who you are is so important (although friends of ours have done it that way and feel differently, so it's all about your own personal viewpoint) and (b) we wanted the father to be happy to be at least known to the children - no secrets!
TTC is stressful at the best of times, so when you've got to time things as accurately as possible because you've only got 1 - 2 tries a month it's even more difficult (and we had to drive 250 miles each month to get our sperm!! ).
dot1 - Sounds as if you have a very good situation all around for all concerned. I agree that it is far better to be open and honest from the start, as you have been. Thanks for sharing your experience and thoughts.
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