Gay Adoption

An Overview of the U.K. Adoption Process From a Gay Dad Perspective

Here's how the adoption process works in the UK, as experienced by gay dad Jamie of the "Daddy & Dad" website

I'm Jamie, one half of Daddy and Dad with my fiancé Tom. In 2014 we adopted siblings Lyall and Richard – cheeky little boys aged 8 and 9. I blog about our experiences as adoptive gay dads via our website Daddy & Dad and our Instagram feed.


Here, I take a quick look at the British adoption process.

The Adoption Process

The adoption process is designed to prepare budding adoptive parents for the realities of adoptive parenting.

The UK adoption process can be broken down into five key stages:

  • 1.The assessment
  • 2. Approval panel
  • 3. Family finding
  • 4. Matching panel
  • 5. Introductions

The Assessment

During the adoption assessment, adopters are assigned to a social worker. Our social worker was lovely; a very well organised, friendly young lady called Michelle. First, your social worker will survey your house or apartment to ensure that it's a safe environment for kids.

Then, over a period of about six to eight weeks, you'll be assessed for your suitability as adoptive parents. You'll be expected to reveal some fairly personal stuff about your relationship, finances and any traumatic experiences that you've been through. It's not as intrusive as it sounds – in fact Tom and I found the assessment quite therapeutic.

Approval Panel

A panel of experts are provided with your assessment report to peruse and then they interview you to iron out any issues or concerns from your assessment. Our panel took place in an adoption agency meeting room with ten experts; a mixture of paediatricians, senior social workers, teachers and MPs. I won't lie – it is nerve-racking but the majority of adopters that reach this stage are successful so don't worry. I'm a panellist myself now and I still get nervous every time – that said, it's reassuring for adopters to see a civilian on the panel!

After your panel interview, the panellists make a recommendation (yes or no) and a decision maker provides an official decision in the post… eek!

Family Finding

This is the stage of the process in which you choose your future children. However callous that might sound, you have to approach the family finding stage pragmatically because every gorgeous little child is accompanied with an emotional and often devastating bio. It's very upsetting reading, even for thick-skinned boys like me and Tom.

We found this process less upsetting when we stuck to our preferences. For instance, we knew that we wanted two siblings and preferably boys, so we were able to narrow our search down considerably.

Anyway, as soon as we saw Lyall and Rich's grinning little faces on their profile we knew that they were our boys, despite their traumatic back-story.

Matching Panel

When both your social worker and the children's social worker are happy that you all make a good match, your assessment report and the children's equivalent report (can't remember what it's called) are presented to the Matching Panel. Another team of expert panellists will scrutinise the reports, discuss the potential issues and make a recommendation.

If the recommendation is affirmative, you can start to prepare yourselves (and the children) for the final stage of the process; the introductions.

Introductions

By this stage, your children (you can safely start to describe them as yours, now!) will have been thoroughly prepared to move on from their foster accommodation and will know who you are, through photos and videos.

But, unless you found your children during a family finding party or event, you won't have met them yet. Scary stuff, eh?!

The introductions usually happen in the children's foster care setting, in the company of their foster carers and social worker.

Prepare yourselves for the most beautiful but nerve-racking and emotional day of your lives! You can read about our introductions with Lyall and Richard here.

During the following few weeks you will gradually take on more and more of your children's daily routine in their foster care setting. When everybody is ready, the children say a tearful goodbye to their foster carers and come home with you. Get the tissues ready for that day… it's another emotional one.

And that's when the real fun begins!

Anyway, here were are – four years on and we're a happy, settled, loving family. Adopting our boys was the most wonderful thing we've ever done. We couldn't recommend adoption enough. It's magical.

If you'd like a more detailed (and revealing) account of our adoption process, you can find it on the Daddy and Dad blog here.

Follow Jamie and Tom and their boys on Instagram here and on their award winning blog.

Show Comments ()
Gay Dad Family Stories

This Couple is Using 'Wheel of Fortune' Winnings to Help Fund Their Adoption

Need to raise money for your adoption fund? Why not try your luck on Wheel of Fortune like these guys!

Doug and Nick Roberts connected three and a half years ago via a dating app, and on their first date, the two immediately felt a connection. Doug, a psychologist, and Nick, a neuroscientist, were married 18 months later. Today the couple live in the suburbs of Philadelphia, and they're ready to start their next exciting adventure together: fatherhood.

The husbands would like to have children, and Nick has always wanted to adopt. "We considered surrogacy, and may consider it in the future as we expand our family," said Doug, "but right now, it is cost-prohibitive. Adoption was easily the right choice for us as we begin to grow our family.

Keep reading... Show less
Gay Dad Life

"Daddy, Which Belly Did I Come From?"

How do gay dads talk to their kids about the women that helped bring them into the world?

When you tell your kids the story of how they came to be, is the woman who delivered them identified by a face and a name? That's a decision that every gay dad has to make when it comes to having kids through surrogacy or adoption. In this episode we explored two ways of keeping in touch with the birthmother (for adoptive kids) or the gestational surrogate (for IVF and surrogacy) as part of gay dads' children's birth story.Some adoptive parents choose to have an 'open adoption,' where the child gets to meet the birthmother. Parents who go through surrogacy sometimes keep in touch with the surrogate and have their kids meet her when they are old enough.

Keep reading... Show less
Change the World

One Gay Dad's Fight Against Hate in Superior, Nebraska

Brian Splater is refusing to let homophobic and transphobic elected officials in his town go unchecked

Millie B. Photography

Guest post written by Brian Splater

No one ever should feel they will have a very lonely and secluded life as a child. But that is something me and many other gay kids believe as they are growing up.

The truth of the matter is there are people who will try everything in their power to have our rights go back in time instead of forward. It is very disheartening when these people are elected officials, or they are people who use their place of employment to spread their disgust and hate.

Keep reading... Show less
Fun

Gay Dad Penguins Strike Again! This Time in Berlin Zoo

The latest male penguins to care for an egg together are Skipper and Ping in the Berlin Zoo.

First, there was Roy and Silo — the two male penguins in the Central Park Zoo that served as inspiration for the famous children's book And Tango Makes Three. Then Magin Sphen got together in Sydney, where aquarium keepers gave the cocks (Calm down, that's what a male penguin is called!) a foster egg to care for.

And now, please welcome Skipper and Ping in Berlin to the latest list of gay dad penguins! As soon as the two emperor penguins arrived at the city's zoo, they set about trying to start a family, said Berlin Zoo spokesman Maximilian Jaege to DPA news.

"They kept trying to hatch fish and stones," Jaeger said.

So the zookeepers loaned the penguins an egg from a female penguin, who is apparently uninterested in hatching eggs on her own, according to the BBC.

Unsurprisingly, the gay penguins are killing it as parents. "The two male penguins are acting like exemplary parents, taking turns to warm the egg," Jaeger said,

Read the whole article on DPA here.

Change the World

Hungarian Company Raising Money for LGBTQ+ Organization with a LEGO® Heart

Startup WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is helping combat misinformation and prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe

Guest Post from WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD

WE LOVE WHAT YOU BUILD is an innovative startup venture that sells LEGO® parts and unique creations. The core values of our company include social equality regardless of gender identity or origin. As LEGO® is a variety of colors and shapes, so are the people.

We all know that LEGO® is a brand that nearly everyone knows and likes between the age of 3 and 99 so this gives a great opportunity to connect unique LEGO® creations and Pride. We started a fundraising campaign for a Hungarian LGBTQ+ organization who's aim is to bring people closer to the LGBTQ+ community, they help to combat misinformation and prejudice regarding LGBTQ+ issues in Central- Eastern Europe since 2000.

You might know that gender equality and the circumstances of LGBTQ+ people is not the easiest in the former communist Eastern European countries like Hungary so this program is in a real need for help. For example a couple of month ago a member of the government said that homosexual people are not equal part of our society.

The essence of the campaign is when one buys a Pride Heart, a custom creation made of brand new and genuine LEGO® bricks the organization gets $10.00 donation so they can continue their important work. This Pride Heart is a nice necklace, a decoration in your home, and a cool gift to the one you love.

Keep reading... Show less
Entertainment

Single Gay Dad Featured on Season Three of GLOW

Actor Kevin Cahoon joins the Gorgeous Ladies of Wresting in Vegas as a single gay dad — and drag queen — on Season Three of the hit Netflix show

For a couple of years now, Hollywood has been obsessed with gay dad characters (and who can blame them?) But the latest show to get hip to a story line featuring gay man raising kids is Netflix's GLOW, which explores a female wresting troop in the late 1980s.

But GLOW is helping represent a gay character that rarely gets time in the limelight:the single gay dad. In Season three of the hit comedy — which stars Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron — actor Kevin Cahoon joins the case as Bobby Barnes, a single gay father who plays a female impersonator. (80s divas only, of course — Joan Collins and Babs among them)


"I've never done female impersonation," the openly gay actor told OutSmart Magazine, "so I tried to learn really quick. You will know them all; I was very familiar with all of them. There were plenty of talk shows and performances on YouTube to study. I learned that their breathing was very informative."

A single gay dad AND drag queen on television? It's about damn time if you ask us.

Read the full interview with Cahoon here.

Politics

Utah Court Rules Gay Couples Can't Be Excluded From Surrogacy Contracts

The Utah Supreme Court found in favor of a gay couple attempting to enter into a surrogacy contract.

DRAKE BUSATH/ UTCOURTS.GOV

Earlier this month, the Utah Supreme Court ruled that a same-sex couples can't be excluded from entering into enforceable surrogacy contracts, and sent a case concerning a gay male couple back to trial court to approve their petition for a surrogacy arrangement.

As reported in Gay City News, the case concerns Utah's 2005 law on surrogacy, which was enacted prior to the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state. As a result, the content of the law is gendered, saying that surrogacy contracts should only be enforceable if the "intended mother" is unable to bear a child. When a gay couple approached District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox to enter into a surrogacy arrangement, he denied them, arguing that the state's law only concerned opposite sex couples.

"This opinion is an important contribution to the growing body of cases adopting a broad construction of the precedent created by Obergefell v. Hodges and the Supreme Court's subsequent decision in Pavan v. Smith," according to GCN. "It's also worth noting that same-sex couples in Utah now enjoy a right denied them here in New York, where compensated gestational surrogacy contracts remain illegal for all couples."

Read the full article here.

Fatherhood, the gay way

Get the latest from Gays With Kids delivered to your inbox!

Follow Gays With Kids

Powered by RebelMouse