WNYC podcast Nancy recently launched a series examining different financial concerns facing LGBTQ people--many of which our heterosexual counterparts aren't subjected to. Among the first topics they tackled, fittingly enough, is focused on the costs of becoming a parent while queer, a subject we've covered at length for gay, bi, and trans men.
As part of the podcast, hosts Tobin Low and Kathy Tu discuss whether they, themselves, hope to have kids one day in the future. While Kathy says she's "meh" on the subject of children, Tobin says he would like to pursue parenthood at some point, and always figured adoption would be the right path for him. But, he said, it wasn't until he worked on this segment on the financial concerns of queer parents, where he learned adoption can cost upwards of $40,000, that he realized how out of reach adoption can be for many queer people.
"I've imagined that maybe I would adopt," he says. "But, before working on this series, I sort of imagined it would just be, like, the one fee for adoption and nothing else. And so now, I'm like, "Oh, I gotta save!"
The podcasters also feature a message from a gay dad named Jason Becton, who lives with his husband Evan in Charlottesville, Virginia, where they own and operate MarieBette Cafe. "The business is named after our daughters, Marion and Betty, who are aged 5 and 7," he said. "When we were looking to adopt, we had two options: foster-adopt and private adoption. For our first daughter, we chose foster-to-adopt which actually didn't cost anything for us. And during the time that we were fostering her, we were given a stipend by the state and training was actually paid for as well. So that was pretty good."
For their second daughter, however, the couple adopted with the help of a private lawyer, which was much more costly. "I don't know the exact amount but it was probably somewhere between $21,000 and $23,000," he said. "My advice for couples at the beginning of this process is to really try to explore your options and do as much research as possible. If you choose to go the foster-to-adopt option, make sure that you emotionally prepare yourself for the possibility that it may not work out and also be realistic with what kind of situations you're willing to take on."
Jason also added a point we've heard echoed by many gay dads over the years: the cost is rarely something you dwell on much more once you've successfully formed your family. "It's been six years, almost, since we adopted Betty and I don't really think about the expense anymore," he said. "I love my kids. And it definitely was worth it for me to go through building our family through adoption."
Listen to the whole podcast below: