Afraid of Adopting from Foster Care? These Dads Say Don't Be
Location: Louisville, Kentucky
Relationship Status:Married. We’ve been together 16 years after meeting through an online dating site. We were married June 30, 2015.
Occupations: William was a general manager at a large catering firm but left his position to be a stay-at-home dad. Bland is a consultant in the healthcare industry.
How Many Kids Do You Have? One 2-year-old son.
What’s His Name? Austin Lee.
What Does He Call You? We are both called “Daddy.”
Tell us about your path to parenthood. Did you consider other options? We consulted with an adoption attorney to discuss the various options and the pros and cons of all facets. Once we came to realize that there were already children waiting in the foster system for a family, the choice was clear. Our child or children was potentially waiting for us already and so the long tedious journey began.
What obstacles did you face on your path to fatherhood? Navigating the foster and the judicial system, especially in Kentucky, is extremely difficult and at times defeating. Many unnecessary roadblocks presented themselves into our sons case, causing delays and retrials time and time again.
What words of advice do you have for other gay men considering foster-to-adopt? At the end of the day, we would chose no other route than the one that we did. Fostering to adopt made sense for us and also for our child. So often people comment that it is too hard a path, but these children deserve everything. We are trying my hardest to find ways to advocate for foster-to-adopt. Quite honestly, had we understood 10 years ago how easy an option this was to create our family, we would have been parents long ago. We are making it our personal mission to spread the information and tools with other gay families.
How has your life changed since you became a father? We truly love to travel and we did a ton of it before we decided to have children. Entering the foster care system we were unable to travel internationally for a couple of years until our son's adoption was finalized. We are looking forward to getting back to traveling and sharing that experience with him.
Was there ever a moment that you or Bland experienced any serious doubts about your path to fatherhood or fatherhood itself? We spent 14 years together shoving the desire to have children into the background. We had a niece that was born and when we held her we knew instantly that it was what we were meant to do. We were meant to be parents and we had to stop putting it off just because we were uneducated about our options.
Is your family treated differently than others on account of your sexual orientation? We are noticed and remembered more often than the "traditional" family in Louisville, KY. We just try to remind ourselves often that we can handle some stares and some strange questions if it means that we are going ahead of someone who may not have to do the same. It is all about educating people that our family is just like theirs, and trying to make it through day to day life. Then you get the occasional stare from a young gay person admiring your family and seeing an option for themselves and it makes it all worth it.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about your experiences creating or raising your family? Becoming parents, it turns out, was our life's calling. We have been so fulfilled by the experience. From the moment that our baby boy was dropped at our door our lives improved in an unimaginable way. We had no idea that we were missing out on this incredible gift of being someone's father.
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The Long Island Adoptive Families support group was created by parents going through the adoption process or who had already adopted. It was a great way to help members navigate the path of adoption whether it be private domestic, international agency, domestic agency or foster care. We spoke with Chemene, one of the founders, and found out how this group is supporting local gay men interested in becoming fathers.
Adam Lozon and Scott Dufour met online and have been together 11 years.They live in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with their son Paulo. The couple are both in banking and are engaged to be married. We caught up with the dads to see how fatherhood was treating them!
Guest post from Greg Hutch.
It's two weeks before school starts and I am sitting in my classroom updating the photos in the frames on my desk. These frames used to be filled with pictures of my dogs, of me playing my instrument (I am a music teacher), or of the various other things that I have enjoyed in my lifetime. Today, they are filled with loving pictures of my family, including my son and partner who I raise him with. Times sure have changed…thanks to our son, Clark.
Editor's Note: In this ongoing series, we're shining the spotlight on some of the gay dads behind Gays With Kids as their incredible passion and commitment plays an invaluable role in making Gays With Kids possible. Please contact Brian Rosenberg if you'd like to talk about getting involved, too.
Happy gay uncles day to all the wonderful "guncles" out there! Here at Gays With Kids we know how important your roles are within our families so we want to celebrate you today, and say a big thanks! Enjoy this collection of "guncle" photos and a few words of wisdom and contemplations from the uncles themselves.
Two years ago when Oliver arrived into our lives, my partner Rob and I were living in separate countries. We met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and had Oliver when Rob was working in Bangkok and I was in KL. Oliver arrived two weeks early when we received an unexpected message from our agent saying to go to the hospital – our surrogate had been checked into hospital.
The day began like any other. My alarm went off at 4.30am. I snoozed until 5am. I ate breakfast until 5.30am, at which point my son, Felix, woke naturally like clockwork. I fed him mashed bananas, cashew butter and chia seeds. I woke my dad up with a cup of tea and handed the baton over for him to look after Felix as I left for work on my bike at 6.30am. I worked through the day as normal. Then, at 6.49pm I received a call from the police.