Darren English, a 35-year-old gay man, recently penned an essay for Gay Star News about his experience reuniting with his birth father for the first time since he was a one year old toddler. During that encounter, he learned his dad also identifies as gay.
Darren's mother and father were both around 17 years old when he was conceived, he wrote. They lived together for a year, but ultimately the relationship didn't last. Darren and his mother relocated to London, while his father stayed behind in Glasgow. Soon after, she gave birth to another son.
"By this point, she was struggling to cope and had developed a strong drug and alcohol addiction," Darren wrote, "which at times, put my brother and I in dangerous situations."
As a result, Darren and his brother were taken into foster care. The two boys were unfortunately split up, but were still allowed supervised visits with their mother, allowing them the opportunity to see one another despite their separation. After one of these visit, however, Darren and his brother were told they would no longer be seeing their mother.
"I remember the pain and tears of being torn away," Darren wrote in his essay, who estimates he and his siblings (his mother also gave birth to a sister during this time) were placed in nearly 100 different foster care homes within a five year period.
Eventually, the two boys were adopted by one family. "It wasn't easy, as we both came with a lot of emotional baggage, but our new parents worked extremely hard to ensure that we spoke about our past and were a very open family with the best chance in life we could have," Darren wrote. His sister was adopted by another family, he said.
When Darren was 29, he was contacted by his sister, who managed to find his birth father through Facebook. He and his birth parents booked flights immediately to Glasgow to visit him.
"Before our visit to meet him, we had spoken on FaceTime quite a bit. He stated in one message that before we met, I should know that he was gay and he hoped I wasn't disappointed. He was stunned when I announced I was gay as well."
Read more about Darren's amazing journey on Gay Star News