After four long years on an adoption waitlist, Andre Barros wasn't sure if he'd ever become a dad. But a chance encounter with an adoptive parent at his place of work changed his life forever. Things began to move quickly. Within a few months, he was in a hospital room with his son's birth mother, cutting the cord, and giving his son his very first kiss.
Andre, originally from Brazil, lives in Waterloo, Canada and is a nurse. He came out to a loving family whom he thinks might love him even more now that he's living his authentic life. Andre always wanted to be father, so in 2013, he began his adoption journey as single gay man. He was open to adopting from 0 to 10 years old, and siblings, too.
After four years on the waiting list and still no headway, Andre began his day at the hospital like any other. He was doing a well-child check for an infant and noticed there wasn't any delivery information. Andre asked the mother and she told him she had adopted the baby. During the visit, Andre opened up and told the mother that he, too, was hoping to adopt but had been waiting four years and had never received any calls from his agency about a potential match.
The mother asked who his social worker was, and then gave Andre the details to the social worker who had helped her adopt her child. "I didn't want to believe my social worker was working against me," said Andre, so he decided not to reach out to the recommended agent for fear to cause any hard feelings or to maybe change the path I was waiting so long already.
Two weeks later, he received an email asking him he was interested in adopting a child that was yet to be born. "I said yes, of course!" said Andre. "That was the first email with good news I had ever received from the agency."
Later that week, Andre received a call stating the birth mother had selected two profiles – one of which was his - and she wanted to interview the potential adoptive parents before making a decision. "I was extremely tense on the interview day," said Andre. "After the interview, I asked the social worker how she decided to take on my case seeing as she wasn't my primary social worker. She said, 'You have an angel advocating for you,' and nothing else!"
A couple of days went by and the social worker called Andre again asking for another interview and a letter describing his point of view on open adoption and how he would feel having the birth family around. "I was clear that I would like to have contact with the birth family," explained Andre, "I didn't want my child to wonder in the future."
During the second meeting, the birth mother asked Andre, if he was chosen, if he'd like to be in the delivery room to be passed the child right away as she didn't want any contact with the child after the delivery. Andre replied, "Of course, that would be amazing! Cutting the cord and to give the first kiss on my child would be a dream!"
The birth mom then said, "So, get ready; you will be in the delivery room!"
"I don't even need to tell you that it was the best day of my life," said Andre. "I cried like a baby!"
On October 8, 2017, little Lucca was born and went straight to his Daddy's arms.
"My life has changed completely! Everything I do and think now is about my son. My schedule is all about him, I've become much more organized and practical as I can't afford to waste time. I need and I want to be there for my son."
Today, Lucca is almost 17 months, and he and Andre have a wonderful relationship with Lucca's biological family. They see each other regularly, and Lucca has a 4-year-old brother and grandmother as well, and they're always excited to see him. Andre describes the open adoption relationship as an amazing extension to his son's family. "He was never unwanted, rejected, abused or neglected," said Andre. "[His birth mother] loved him so much that she had a very difficult decision to give him away for a better life!"
As a single dad, Andre juggles a lot on his plate but with a well-structured schedule, he and Lucca make it work. And they still find time to play, go shopping, travel and visit friends.
And despite the wait and discrimination, Andre would do it all over again. "Obstacles can be complex and difficult; it's hard to keep motivation high over time. But becoming a father and having a family will justify all your hard work!"