Foster/Foster-Adopt

Your Foster Adopt Questions Answered by a Foster Adopt Dad

We asked our Instagram community to send us their questions about being a foster dad — and an experienced foster dad responded.

Dad Joseph Bostick (read his story here) recently shared his experience as a foster and adoptive dad with our Instagram community via a question and answer session - did you feel nervous at the beginning? How did you start the process? Did you always know that you wanted to foster older kids?

Read Joseph's responses below.


1. What was the hardest / best part of being a foster dad?

"The hardest part of being a foster dad is accepting what that title means. You are there temporarily to help and guide which means just about the time you feel you are making progress is when you inevitably have to let go for them to return home. The best part is that you get to show children an entirely different world which can give them hope for the future."

2. I'm planning on being a single foster parent, would the process take as long as yours?

"The process is different for everyone depending on the choices you make on how to adopt starting with whether you choose a public or private agency. Our process was slightly longer. From start to finish it took several years to be given the opportunity to adopt but we chose to go through CPS (public). Private agencies can be less time but significantly more money. So start now :)"

3. It was difficult to adopt your kids!

"Yes it was. It was difficult to find open-minded case workers to advocate for a same sex couple. It was difficult to get agencies to select us as the best parents. It was difficult to find judges who would support the adoption and it was difficult stay positive through all the set backs. But, the moment our sons became ours all those difficulties faded away and joy took it's place. I would go through it again to get these two."

4. Did you feel nervous at the beginning and what was the best experience with adopting a child?

"Nervous? We were frightened! But you learn quickly that most of your peers who are adopting and going through the classes with you are just as scared. From that vulnerability, you create a support group and network of remarkable people. The best experience is having someone call you their dad. And truthfully, the experiences get better everyday."

5. Hello beautiful family. My hubby and I are going to be fost/adopt parents soon. Just to say thank you.

"I highly recommend fostering to adopt. While it can be heartbreaking when a child returns to their biological parents, it is also a great way to learn about yourself and the kind of parent you want to be. Another great part is that you are in the driver's seat. Take the classes, become certified and then accept a child into your home when you are ready."

6. How do you get started with the process?

"The first step is deciding whether you want to go through a public or private agency. CPS exists in most states and is a relatively cost free way to adopt a child. Private agencies vary from state to state and are usually expensive. But make no mistake! The pool of children is the same. No matter what agency you choose you will have access to the same children. So why choose private then? Typically when you pay you are selected to adopt more quickly."

7. What are some of the challenges to expect if we decided to "foster to adopt"?

"The only challenges that I can guarantee you will experience is that you will be heartbroken, disappointed and confused. Heartbroken that a child you love will be returned to their biological parents, Disappointed that you weren't chosen to adopt a child you had your heart set on. Confused why it seems everyone around you is having an easier time starting a family. But all this will make you a better parent and, I promise, your child is on the way!"

8. How do you juggle working full time and also being a dad?

"It takes a village. We have a vast network of friends who do not hesitate to jump in to help my husband and I keep our family running. Without them I don't know how we would do this."

9. What is it like being a gay couple and raising an interracial family!?!

"For the most part it is the same experience as any other family. However, we do find that people are more inquisitive about our family in a positive way. Sure, people stare sometimes. And sometimes they even approach us to express themselves. But we they do, it is usually to provide a compliment, show solidarity, or simply thank us for being adoptive parents. The love people share far exceeds any negativity we have ever experienced."

10. I would like to adopt a kid but I am single.

"Foster and adoptive parents are in high demand. Single or otherwise, I guarantee your community needs adults willing to foster and/or adopt children. Your relationship status will have no bearing on your acceptance as an adoptive parent."

11. Did you know when you started that you wanted to foster/adopt older children vs an infant/toddler?

"Love this question! By first fostering children, we learned so much about what we are capable of handling. Everyone wants an infant (even us when we began) but we learned after our first infant that ages 4 & up was more our speed. Listen, we all think we know what kind of parent we are going to be but we only truly learn when we are put to the test. I recommend being a foster parent first :)"

12. How did you know that fostering was the right path for you?

"We didn't. We were guided into fostering by our case worker. She offered fostering as a way for us to show our commitment to parenthood to the state. The idea is to help foster children and eventually you will be rewarded with the chance to adopt. While it took longer than we anticipated, it worked our for us in the end."

13. What are the three big tips you'd give to someone starting the foster parent journey?

"(1) Be honest with your agency. There is no shame in having preferences when it comes to age/race/gender of the child you want to help. Only you know what you can handle.

(2) Figure out the kind of parent you want to be. You will never be prepared for every situation you will face as a parent but having a baseline will guide you.

(3) Get your support system in place now. Kids will come to you on a moment's notice. Have your squad ready to react to get you everything you will need so that the child feels comfortable."

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Gay Dad Photo Essays

Our Top Instagram Posts From 2019

Check out our round-up of some of our most popular and engaging Instagram posts from the last year!

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Throughout 2019, thousands of gay dads from around the world sent their family photos to us, and we are proud to share as many of these pictures as we can on Instagram. Today we're showing you our most popular Instagram posts of the year. These photos will make you smile and maybe even melt your heart.

With these photos, you are helping us build a stronger and more visible gay dad community, so we hope you'll keep sharing your family pictures in the year ahead. We at Gays With Kids really appreciate your participation in our community!

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To say June 2018 was a big month for Travis and Jay would be an understatement. They became first-time dads to four-day-old Kathan, and solidified their union with marriage. When the wedding part was over, the new dads were able to focus all their attention on their new family. It had been almost 18 months since they began the process of becoming foster parents till they were matched, and while they were waiting, they began to get anxious.

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A Gay Chiropractor Explains Why He Came Out to His Patients

After Cameron Call, a chiropractor, came out to his family this past year, he knew he had one more step to take — he had to come out to his patients

Fear is an interesting thing. It motivates when it shouldn't, shows at inconvenient times, and is the author of stories that do nothing but hold us back. I would argue though, too, that fear has some good qualities. I believe it helps us to feel. And I think it can be a great teacher as we learn to recognize and face it.

For years fear prevented me from embracing my truth and accepting a large part of who I am. I know I am not alone in that regard. But for so long my fear convinced me that I was. Fear is what kept me from ever telling my parents or anyone growing up that I am gay. Fear mingled with strong religious teachings, embraced at a young age, which led me to believe that I could cure myself of my attractions to the same gender. And fear is a part of what kept me in my marriage to a woman for over ten years.

Only so much growth and learning can occur when we limit ourselves to our fears. If people never did anything they were afraid to do, life would be incredibly boring and far too predictable. At some point we must face the things we fear and just go for it not knowing what will happen next.

After finally coming out to my ex-wife after ten years of marriage (see previous articles for that story), and eventually telling my family I knew there was one more step I needed to make.

I am a business owner. I am a structural chiropractor and am highly specialized in my field. Nearly four years ago I opened my own clinic, Horizon Chiropractic Center, in Phoenix, Arizona. I poured my whole heart, body, and soul into the creation of my practice and its growth. Opening a business fresh out of school is no simple task and I worked hard to build my practice with close relationships and word of mouth referrals. I established myself as an expert and built a strong reputation as a family man, and my ex-wife and kids were the face of my practice.

I loved and do love every person who has ever come into my office and treat them like family. We laugh together during visits, celebrate wins, cry together, often hug, and cheer each other on regarding various things in our life. That's also a large part of who I am: a people person. I enjoy spending quality time with those I am privileged to help. No one comes in my office and only sees me for 2-5 minutes.

Even though there was so much good that I had built into my brand and reputation fear eventually found its way into my business too. I was afraid of what would happen if people found out the truth. Would they be okay with having a gay chiropractor? Would they still trust me to be able to help them? Of course, the story in my head I was telling myself was much bigger and badder than it needed to be.

When we decided to get a divorce, I felt strongly that I needed to face these fears and begin telling a number of patients the truth of what was happening in my life. I know in reality it is no one's business but my own. However, I felt like I needed to let my patients who had become like family to me truly see me for who I am, and who I always was. And so slowly, case by case, I began to tell a select number of people.

I'll never forget the first patient I told. She had been coming in for years and was bringing her son in to see me who is on the autism spectrum. It was the day after my ex-wife and I decided to get a divorce and she could tell something heavy was on my mind. I eventually came out to her. The first words out of her mouth were "I am so proud of you!" We cried and hugged and it was the complete opposite of what I ever expected. And it was perfect. I felt loved. I felt accepted. I felt seen.

As time went on it got easier. And overall the responses were all completely positive and supportive. Out of all the patients I told and those who found out from other circles, only three stopped coming in to see me. Since coming out, my office has grown tremendously. My reputation hasn't changed. If anything, it's solidified. I can't help but think that part of that is due to finally embracing all of me and allowing others the same opportunity.

I read somewhere once that you never really stop coming out of the closet. And I've noticed that too. Sure, not everyone needs to know; it isn't everyone's business. And I hope that one day we live in a time period where fear doesn't prevent anyone from being seen. I want to contribute to the upward trajectory I think our society is headed of understanding, acceptance, support, and equality.

I would love to be able to say that after coming out publicly I no longer feel fear; but I do. And I think in some ways I always will no matter what. But that's part of life, right? Recognizing fear when we have it but then choosing to move forward out of love – love for others, but maybe more importantly love for ourselves.

Personal Essays by Gay Dads

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Janno relocated to London earlier than Matthias, when he was 24, and his main reason for the move was his sexuality. "Although Estonia is considered one of the more progressive countries in Eastern Europe, when it comes to gay rights, it is still decades behind Western society in terms of tolerance," said Janno. "And things are not moving in the right direction." In 2016, same-sex civil union became legal, but the junior party in the current coalition government is seeking to repeal the same-sex partnership bill. "In addition," Janno continued, "they wish to include the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman in the country's constitution. Even today, there are people in Estonia who liken homosexuality to pedophilia, which is why I decided to start a new life in the UK, where I could finally be myself."

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Interested in Surrogacy? Check Out These Bay Area Events This Weekend

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Fatherhood, the gay way

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