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Thinking About Adoption!? Young & Gay. Your Opinions?

37 replies

AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 03:20

As much as my sexuality should have no part to play in the process, and I'm sure (and hope) it will not, I have no doubt I may receive some less than positive criticism for wanting to father a child into a gay household. I do not know why I should be made to feel guilty for wanting to give a child a secure, loving and stable home, but I do sometimes.

I'm only 21 however I've done a lot due to moving away from home when I was only 16. I've started, owned and sold my business, got good qualifications and I'm in a stable relationship of 3 years. In fact in less than 2 months we will be married! My partner is 26.

My partner works full time and I do not work. My ambition it to be a stay at home dad and do the very best I can for our children. I love children and we are very strongly considering adoption instead of surrogacy now. In fact we'd prefer it.

Do you think I'm too young, I suppose you don't know me. Everyone always thinks I'm 24 ish (made me want Botox.. thanks).

I'm mature and want a simple life of children and happiness and for them to be well educated and enjoy life.


I have so much I could babble on about, but I will make myself stop before EVERYONE loses the will to live after listening to my drivel!

It's almost 3:30am on a Friday morning, oh my goodness, I've been awake for 19 hours.


OP posts:
Rosencrantz · 17/01/2014 03:34

I'd hang on, only because it was my preference to get the most out of my twenties and have kids later. I travelled the world!

AcrossthePond55 · 17/01/2014 03:56

I think your sexuality doesn't have anything to do with being ready to have a child.

You're right. I don't know you, but you are very young. I don't know many 21 yr olds (straight or gay) who are really ready for children. I know I thought I was at that age, but when I finally had my first child (at 27) I realized how un-ready I really was!

It's hard to explain to someone how having a child changes every facet of your life. Everything must center around what is best for this little human you have committed 100% of your being to care for. You must be willing to set aside things that you dream of, so that they can achieve their dreams. It is not something that you can just decide later isn't for you.

Have you been around many babies or young children? Have you had responsibility for one for any length of time? If not, I suggest you do, if possible.

Talk to your partner. If you can talk to your parents, do. Only someone who knows you can help you figure out if you're ready to be a dad.

Being a mother has been the most blessed thing in my life. I would not exchange parenthood for all the fortune or fame in the world. My sons have given me the greatest joy & love I've ever known. But they have also given me times of great fear & grief. You have to be ready and able to accept both.

I wish you well in your journey.

Moomoomie · 17/01/2014 09:01

Your sexuality will not stop you from adopting at all.
To be honest I too think you may be a bit young still, but, talk to some agencies, go along to some prep groups, talk to the social workers and adoptive parents who will be there.
We don't know you, we don't know if you are too young. A social worker will get to know you and advise you.

Meita · 17/01/2014 10:10

At the end of the day, it is you and only you who can decide if you are 'old enough' for children. However, these kinds of life-changing decisions in my opinion are best made by talking to people, testing your thoughts with them, and properly listening to what they have to say - that doesn't mean you have to follow other people's advice, but use it to help you think things through.
It is sad but very human that we don't easily learn from other people's experience. It is common and natural to think 'but it will be different for me'. I would try to listen to what other gay adopters have to say, to what young adopters or young parents have to say. And then be very honest with yourself: if it is a less-than ideal experience, would it REALLY be different for you? Why exactly would you be the great exception? What strengths and advantages do you have that would help you manage and deal with those difficulties? And equally, if you encounter people whose experiences are very encouraging, ask yourself, would you REALLY be able to pull it off like that?

The point being, from your OP it sounds to me as if you are sort of trying to convince us here that adoption would be good for you and you'd be a good parent. Accordingly it makes me feel you are still trying to convince YOURSELF, on some level.
You will at some point have to be convincing; you will have to convince your SW and then panel and then the child's family finder. It is very hard to convince what are in effect random strangers, if you aren't 100% convinced yourself. However, if you ARE 100% convinced, and have reflected on why and how, then it is easier to convince strangers as well. And rather than just having to say 'yes I am sure I want this' you would be able to say 'I have thought about this and that and believe we have these strengths and advantages that would help us.'

For what it's worth, I believe your age and maturity will take more of a convincing effort than your sexuality.

Also, there will be lots of people telling you to enjoy your 20s with the freedom of being child-free, free of that responsibility for another, totally dependent human being. There is something to that. And yet, there are also many people out there who regret not having started their families sooner. And regret is hard to live with.
I was very mature for my age, and at 21 I was with a 28 yo DP and I thought we would be together forever, and have children together. However that is not how it worked out, and in hindsight and with the wisdom of experience I can see how blue-eyed I was at the time. And yet, sometimes I wish I had started having children earlier (I was 34 when I had my son).
One thing I would urge you to think about: Say you adopt in the next few years. Your children would be adults and living away from home when you would be 45ish. What would you do with the next 20-odd years until retirement age? And why can't/won't you do those things now, before children, instead?

fs2013 · 17/01/2014 10:24

I don't think you're too young. It depends what you want in life and it sounds like it will suit you to be a younger Dad. My sister was 17 when she had her first baby, she's an excellent mum and her now teenage daughter is lovely! If it's something you both want then go for it! Adoption takes time anyway and you will go through plenty of decisions during the process.

fasparent · 17/01/2014 11:44

As experience 1st hand as a FP have seen looked children been placed in similar situations , all I may say with very successful outcomes. Contact your LA for further information.

NorthEasterlyGale · 17/01/2014 11:50

Okay, well, I'm not young (38 next week), not gay and have not adopted (now wondering why I'm posting on this thread....Grin). But I do have one 19 month old son and another due next month.

I would say that sexuality, age and whether or not you work has nowt to do with whether you'll be a good dad or are 'ready' for kids and as you say, shouldn't influence the process.

You don't say much in your post about how your partner feels about children, your desire to be SAHD etc, other than you would both prefer to adopt?

I'd agree with an earlier post about getting experience with young kids (if that's the age you'd like to adopt) if you don't have any. I've known my DH for nearly 20 years, been together for 14 and have a very strong relationship - however, I had no experience of babies (and I mean none - hadn't even held one until I had DS1) and being parents has changed our relationship in ways I couldn't even have imagined. It has pushed it further than I thought possible - fortunately we have managed to bend rather than break but it has been astonishingly difficult at times. That, I believe, is par for the course with parenting, without any added complexities from adoption.

Personally, I had to get to a point in life where I'd had a couple of 'dream' holidays, where we'd had the cars we'd always wanted (not flash cars, but knew we'd never afford new again after having kids), where we could afford to both work part-time so we didn't need childcare, where I felt I had the patience & maturity to deal with children (boy was I wrong when I thought I'd got to that particular point!) and where 'wanting' a child became 'needing' a child (not sure if I can really explain that last point very well). It's different for everyone I guess - only you and your partner can know what your absolutes are for being 'ready' and then only after some thought and reflection.

And Grin at 'simple life' where children are concerned...depends on your definition of 'simple' Grin

MrsSquirrel · 17/01/2014 12:04

There are pros and cons to the age thing. Assuming your partner is supportive, I say if it's your ambition to be a stay at home dad, then go for it.

Have you heard of the [[ New Family Social group? My friend is in it, it's a social group for gay adoptive and foster parents. You might like to meet up with them.

MrsSquirrel · 17/01/2014 12:04

Link fail New Family Social

willyoulistentome · 17/01/2014 12:14

I also think perhaps 21 is a bit young. What's the rush? You have years ahead of you to make a home, further your career (both of you). This would be my advice to any couple of your ages planning a baby via any method. The extra life expedience/maturity would would gain can only benefit any child.

AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 12:25

Thank you ALL so much for your great words and feedback - I really do appreciate everything mentioned. Whether it's your belief we should wait or jump in with both feet (as the process takes easily up to a year anyway).

I'm going to try and respond in general to all the great points mentioned above.

First my partner is very up for it and would LOVE to be a father, after having a bad childhood himself, he understands the importance of loving, caring and safe parenting to make children feel valued.
I do not work out of choice, but would consider a part time job (not whilst having the baby). Our children (we want to eventually adopt 2, maybe three…eventually)

I do have experience of young children and babies, and even special needs (specifically downs syndrome - also wouldn't be adverse to considering that type of adoption down the line). I have a friend less than a year older than myself, who has a 3 (almost 4) year old. He's currently going through a delayed terrible 2's! He can be a handful, especially at night, but I always understood you HAVE to take the good with the bad - and that goes for every life event!

I also know our child will be well supported, praised and disciplined when needed, I'm no push over and respect is certainly important to me. Especially where we live.

I still have contact daily with all my family - my parents, my sisters. They all live quite close! I only left home and moved across the country to go to a much better and academic college. My parents were fantastic.

I'm not a typical 20 something, I have no desire to "live life". I've been fortunate, I've travelled all around the world, I've been that silly 17-18 year old partier who partied 6 days a week. Those things are behind me, I now yearn for the days when I can call myself or hear my son call me "daddy". It may sound pathetic but I literally cry some evenings with a NEED for a child. All I want from my life is to be a successful and loving parent. That will be how I enjoy my life.

I will be attending many parenting classes - out of preparation. Also I will have to be give up one of my lovely dogs as he doesn't like children. And yes, we will have to give up our dream of the Range Rover we thought of getting, the large house and grounds we wanted and Burberry coats and Louis Vuitton luggage. But I would sooner sit in a little 3 bed house with my child and dogs and husband than drive to a designer shop in a over indulgent car. We still be getting a BMW X3 for the safety aspect of the child - any reviews welcome!

I wasn't doubting myself as much as doubting other peoples opinions - I do worry what people think of me. Who doesn't. I don't even mean of my sexuality, I'm VERY confident! More so age.

Thank you so much for all you valid opinions - please feel free to share any more you have!

OP posts:
AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 12:27

Thank you so much for that link MrsSquirrel!

OP posts:
AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 12:29

Thank you everyone, especially "fasparent" as it's lovely to hear from someone in your line of work who has first hand positive adoption experiences concerning gay families.

OP posts:
poopooheadwillyfatface · 17/01/2014 12:33

Also I will have to be give up one of my lovely dogs as he doesn't like children. And yes, we will have to give up our dream of the Range Rover we thought of getting, the large house and grounds we wanted and Burberry coats and Louis Vuitton luggage. But I would sooner sit in a little 3 bed house with my child and dogs and husband than drive to a designer shop in a over indulgent car.

Hmm Children are a lovely addition to your life, you don't have to sign up to a life of poverty in a damp mouldy flat instead of a Burberry filled mansion, you know.

AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 12:36

@ poopooheadwillyfatface - that was just in response to a previous comment about sacrifice. I'm just saying I'm willing to give up on whatever I need too. I would prefer our money going on good clothes, food and a good education for our child rather than my wardrobe.

OP posts:
willyoulistentome · 17/01/2014 12:50

As a slight aside to the main point here. . Sorry for going of track a say you want more than one child.
I have (gay as it happens) friends who adopted siblings. They were about 6 & 8 when they were adopted. I have another set of friends who adopted a family of 4 young siblings. In both cases It was the only way the siblings could stay together.
Worth thinking about when you feel the time is right.

prumarth · 17/01/2014 12:55

Hi AdoptionDaddy. I haven't yet adopted but am 6 weeks from final approval panel (and counting!) so can't tell you exactly what you will face. However I would strongly recommend you do a bit of trawling through these threads to see the typical issues and problems that adopted children experience. The fact that most kids in care are removed because of a huge array of issues within their birth families leads to enormous and long-term issues for both the children and the adopted families. These threads will give you a flavour of what you will likely experience and may help you when you meet the social workers and they challenge you on your expectations of adoption.
Good luck!

AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 13:04

@willyoulistentome Thank you for your comment, I did think about it but (and I use this word loosely) ideally I would like one child, ideally a boy at first. Just to really work on my parenting techniques and, so to speak, iron out any parenting creases we may/will have. Especially concerning a adoptive child, as mentioned by @prumarth.

@prumarth - Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS! How truly lovely for you Grin
I think that piece of advice is such a great point, VERY useful! I will certainly do that now!

OP posts:
Lilka · 17/01/2014 13:54

I adopted as a single lesbian woman when I was 30 (28 when I started the process though). It was 1994-1996 so I did encounter a bit of prejudice and uncertainty about my sexuality, but you wouldn't encounter that now IMHO

I was certainly young to adopt, and 21 is very young. You may be fine, but you may find that some agencies want you to wait a couple of years. If so, you can either try another agency or

It may be that your agency would prefer to place you with a younger child, because of your age though it may not because your partner is older. But I've come across several adoptive couples who were in their early-mid twenties when they adopted and their agencies didn't want them to adopt older children because of their ages. But you being 21, you could see why an agency might not want to place you with a 10 year old. My LA ummed about me sticking my age range up to 12 when I was under 30

Wish you both the best of luck, and I second having a look at organisations like NFS etc. Read around adoption, there are many great books and memoirs out there - for an adoptive parent story, I recommend Sally Donovan's book 'No Matter What'

Lilka · 17/01/2014 13:56

agh, cut off

If so, you can either keep trying agencies and find one that are fine with your age, or wait a couple of years, because I can't see any agencies having a problem with age certainly by the time you reach 24.

AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 14:11

@Lilka thank you! I am buying it now on Amazon! Just read the first few pages. Horrifying yet amazing.

I certainly, as most typical adopters, would love a young child, even baby. Our second child I wouldn't mind adopting a "less desirable" age bracket.

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AcrossthePond55 · 17/01/2014 14:26

AdoptionDaddy, your second posts seems to reveal more of you than your first! Sounds like you have a somewhat realistic idea of what lies ahead. I think any parent will say "I had no idea what I was getting into" when that first child comes along. I had been around babies since my first niece was born when I was 8. Nothing prepares you for the reality. Sounds like you've got that straight, Lord knows I didn't! I think you will be a wonderful daddy, whenever it happens for you!

I wanted to share one other thing with you. I am an adopted child. And I am currently watching my beloved mother (age 92) struggle with dementia. We lost my father 15 years ago. I just want to let you know how precious my parents have always been to me, and how strong the bond between us. My mother tells me that my brother (also adopted) and I are the best things ever to happen to her. I can promise you, we both feel the same about her (and Daddy). If you go with adoption, you will be as 'real' a father to your children as if they had been born to you via a surrogate. A 'real' family is built on love, not biology.

I wish you all the best. Good luck on your journey.

AdoptionDaddy · 17/01/2014 14:41

@AcrossthePond55 Thank you so much for such an incredible and heart warming story! All the best for your mother, I hope it doesn't get you down too much - but celebrate what an incredible would she is and mother. I couldn't agree with you more about "A 'real' family is built on love, not biology." and what a great quote.

I just don't want to disappoint or embarrass my child. I want the very best for them. It's great to hear from an actual adopted child - you're remarkable and your words alone have encouraged me to start at least formal enquires as of Monday! Thank you.

A great friend said to me "There is never, nor will there ever be, a perfect time to have a child." So with your comments, and my friends I believe we should just go for it!

My family are so supportive and would give as much love to the child and they would a biological one - I have a very modern and open minded family and they couldn't be prouder. They will spoil them rotten, as they deserve to be!

Thank you once again.

OP posts:
AcrossthePond55 · 17/01/2014 14:53

I must say that I giggled at not wanting to embarrass or disappoint. I know I've done both numerous times to my sons. And probably still do, but as adults they are able to wait until I leave the room to roll their eyes. And though I'm giving my age away, I was certainly disappointed that (at 13) my mother wouldn't let me go to Woodstock! And how embarrassing when Daddy marched into that (no parents, plenty of booze) party and frog-marched me home when I was 17.

All blessed memories now!

CakePunch · 17/01/2014 15:03

Your 21 now so by the time you go through the process and actually get matched you could easily be 23 or older. If you feel ready why not start researching and speaking to agencies. There are lots of children who need loving parents so I think your decision to adopt is very noble.
A quote from another thread on here 'blood is thicker than water but love is thicker than blood'.

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