Five years ago, my Fiancé Tom and I adopted our sons, Lyall and Richard. I’m Jamie, by the way – author of parenting blog Daddy & Dad. You can find out all about our epic adoption process and catch up with our first five years as a family over at www.daddyanddad.co.uk.

This week is LGBT+ Adoption & Fostering week. But why single out and celebrate LGBT+ parents this week? Well. Although LGBT+ people already account for an admirable proportion of adoptions and foster placements, according to research there are still a lot of people within the LGBT+ community who aspire to become parents or carers but for one reason or another haven’t made an enquiry just yet.

Girl on a rainbow coloured road

Why is this? Well, I’ve asked around our network on Instagram and Facebook and found quite a few simple reasons. It’s true – gay, lesbian, bi and trans people and everybody in between from all identities do want to become parents. We’ve had messages from LGBT+ people as young as 14 and as old as 70+ who are looking at our family as role-models for their future selves.

But, there are a few unfortunate preconceptions that could be holding people back.

The first problem I’ve noted is people don’t feel grown-up enough. They might be financially stable, have plenty of space and time to offer but still feel as though they’ll miss out on something if they become parents. For some people, this might be true, but speaking from experience (I still class myself as an 18 year old despite my age) there is plenty of opportunity to have a lot of fun after becoming a parent. Don’t allow other people’s concept of adulthood delay your chance to become a mum or dad – honestly just the fact you are thinking about this tells me you could be a potential super-mum or wonder-dad. If you’re young and thinking about becoming a parent, why not pop over to Instagram and follow these young dads via adoption - @TwoDadsInLondon. They manage to cram a lot of fun into their family routine!

 

 Daddy and Dad - Young, LGBT+ and dreaming of parenthood?

 
Secondly, people are worried about prejudice, discrimination or, well, sticking out like a proverbial sore thumb compared with other families. So – let’s take a closer look at this. During the adoption or fostering application process you will be joined by several other applicants, some older, some younger, all different ethnicities and backgrounds. You might be the only LGBT+ applicants in the room, but you will be treated with equal respect and dignity and everybody will feel equally unique. Further on, when you’re placed with your offspring, there will be times you feel a little different to the other mums and dads on the school run, at the soft-play or at parent and baby groups. But, people are actually very nice – albeit a little harassed by their kids! You quickly realise you are experiencing just the same every-day problems as the other parents, because, despite your fabulous LGBT+ status, in that kind of environment you are just parents, like everybody else.

  Two mothers holding hands with a child

One thing I noticed very early on is our children think our family set-up is completely normal. To them, you won’t be an LGBT+ parent, you’ll just be dad, or mum.

Thirdly (and this always surprises me) many LGBT+ people don’t realise they can become a parent. There are only a handful of high-profile LGBT+ parents in the media and most of them originate from LA and are difficult to identify with. Tom and I have made it our mission to show people, via Instagram, our blog and TV appearances that ordinary LGBT+ people can adopt children and have a fun, fulfilling life. And that’s what LGBT+ Adoption Week is all about. Raising the profile of every-day LGBT+ families, sharing their stories and encouraging more potential parents to make that first enquiry.

To follow our family adventures, please pop over to the Daddy & Dad blog.

LGBT Adoption Week 2019 logo

 

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