Growing up, 33-year-old Tyler Bishop always knew he wanted to be a dad, and he hasn’t let anything stop him from reaching his dreams.
Even after his marriage didn’t work out, Tyler continued on to adopt his two foster children as a single dad.
Back in 2012, one of Tyler’s friends told him about the process of fostering-to-adopt in his home state of Washington. He was married at the time, and they decided fostering-to-adopt would be a great way to start their family.
Later that year, they took in their first foster child; 2-year-old Josh. About 18 months later, Josh’s little sister Milady joined their home too.
Unfortunately, Tyler’s relationship didn’t last.
“When I became a foster parent I was married to a man, but he had an affair and left,” Tyler explained. “I continued on and adopted the kids myself. I didn’t plan on doing it alone, but life has other plans for you, and I’m making it work."
When he first became a single parent, Tyler said there was definitely a moment when he questioned his ability to do it on his own. But that quickly passed, because he couldn’t imagine not being a part of his kids' lives.
Although he said going through the foster care system was pretty taxing, Tyler knew it was worth it to offer his children a loving, supportive home.
“I went through Washington state’s fostering system in an area where foster parents are badly needed, and cases are high for the social work ratio,” he explained. “It takes extreme patience and understanding on everyone’s end.”
After several years of fostering the siblings, Tyler was able to adopt Josh in July 2017, and Milady’s adoption was finalized in March 2018.
Now that Josh is 11, and Milady is 9, Tyler said he’s loving watching them grow and learn new things. In fact, he said seeing them develop into the people they will be and helping guide them has been one of the most rewarding things he’s ever experienced.
“Josh is tech-savvy, loves the outdoors, and hopes to become a YouTuber one day. Milady is a girl through and through. She takes her name to heart and thinks she’s a princess,” he smiled. “She’s always socializing and making new friends. She is one of the most charismatic people you’ll meet.”
As a self-employed hairstylist, Tyler said one of the hardest things about being a single parent has been trying to find the balance between running his business and taking care of his kids.
“Honestly the hardest thing about being a dad is I just feel like there is never enough time in the day,” he said. “But I enjoy every part of it. Even the difficult days; not necessarily in the moment, but looking back.”
Tyler’s advice to other gay men considering the route of foster-to-adopt is to take the first step to do the classes, and see what it’s all about. Especially single men, who might be questioning whether or not they can do it solo.
“There are a lot of kids out there that really need a loving home,” Tyler said. “Also, you don’t need to wait to find the perfect partner to raise kids. You can do it on your own.”