Young Scottish Dads Celebrate 10th Anniversary on Halloween
Jonny was 19 and Pete 20 when the two met online in 2006. They went on their first date on Halloween that same year, exactly ten years ago today! They moved in together just seven months later.
Jonny grew up in Glasgow, Scotland, and Pete in a smaller community less than an hour away, where they now live with their son Kaiden, almost 4 years old. They enjoy the benefits of life in a community where they know many locals.
Pete (left) and Jonny's first official outing as a couple at Pete's best friend's wedding, 2006
When they first met, Jonny was still in police college and graduated several months later. Pete followed in his footsteps a couple of years later, eventually becoming a police officer as well.
While Jonny recently transitioned to a career in financial services, the two divulged that through their police work they were each exposed to children living in horrendous situations. These kids were in dire need of families that could provide safe, stable and loving homes.
So while both men say that they always knew fatherhood was in their futures, their experience as police officers led them to want to create their family through adoption. Unfortunately, the law prevented them from fostering or adoption during their early years as a couple, so they only discussed it wistfully.
Pete and Jonny meeting Kaiden for the first time, just 7 days before he moved in with his dads in 2014
Then, in 2009, the laws changed and adoption became available to same-sex couples in Scotland. For the first time, the guys were able to seriously consider fatherhood through adoption, helping to make a difference in the life of a child.
But first they wanted to buy a house, and so it wasn't until 2013 that they started the adoption process. Then, in 2014, they met 15-month-old Kaiden, who moved in with his new dads in October, making the month even more special to the dads.
While on family vacation in Nova Scotia of June 2016, the guys decided to take advantage of Canada's marriage laws and got married. Kaiden was their best man!
Before adopting Kaiden, at her request, the dads-to-be met with Kaiden's birth mom. While she has no role in their son's life, the dads plan to provide Kaiden with age-appropriate information about her and her life. For now, for example, Kaiden understands that he has a tummy mummy.
Interestingly, Jonny and Pete formed a bond with Kaiden's foster family, who took care of him for close to a year before the dads met him. As Jonny describes it, Kaiden's foster parents treated him like one of their own. The dads especially value the relationship as the foster family can help fill in some of the gaps about what Kaiden's life was like during his first year.
Jonny and Kaiden enjoying a trip to northern Scotland, 2016
Today, Kaiden and his dads are looking forward to growing their family, again through adoption. Kaiden is especially excited with the prospect of having a little sister. The dads promise to keep in touch. When Kaiden has a sibling they'll be sure to let Gays With Kids know!
Before finishing up our interview, we asked the dads what life was like for a gay dad family living outside of a major metropolitan area in Scotland.
The dads said there's absolutely been no issue, no problems of homophobia. Like many gay dads, they've received their fare share of questions about where Kaiden's mommy is, but they don't think it's ever out of malice.
Pete and Kaiden take a beach selfie, 2016
Gays With Kids: Is there anything else you want to share with other gay men living in Scotland interested in fatherhood? Especially those who are hesitant because they don't know other gay dads personally or haven't seen any in Scotland?
Jonny: Each of Scotland's 32 councils (local government agencies) has an adoption service. These councils can very likely introduce you to gay dads who have already gone through the adoption process in your local community. If you have dreams and aspirations to have a family, then just go do it!
Pete: I agree, just do it. It was the best decision we made! There's still not a lot of visibility from same-sex parents so we're trying to be visible with it.