Jamie & Tom - Daddy & Dad It’s still comparatively rare for male, same-sex couples or single LGBT people to adopt children, which is a tremendous shame, because we have a lot of love to offer – I’m sure you’ll agree. So, I've been kindly invited by the wondrous Adoption Focus to fly the flag for LGBT people who have a niggling desire to start a family through adoption. So, first things first. Let’s stamp out a couple of crumby adoption misconceptions. Firstly, you don’t have to be in a straight, married relationship to qualify for adoption. Single people, or people in any form of loving, resilient relationship may apply, including straight, gay, bi, trans, unmarried, disabled, able bodied, wealthy, not-so-wealthy (that’s me, tut), types. You get the idea. Anything goes, as long as you are able to demonstrate a comfortable, stable home. Secondly, relinquished (social worker lingo meaning ‘given-up voluntarily’) babies are few and far between and in-fact the majority of children in the care system are toddlers or preschool age plus – it’s unlikely that you’ll adopt a newborn baby. With the help of our Adoption Focus social worker, Michelle, Tom and I became adoptive parents to our handsome little boys, Richard (5) and Lyall (6) in March 2014. The process, from start to finish (that is, from initial enquiry to placement) took eighteen months. Of course, during the assessment this felt like an extraordinarily long time, but in hindsight it feels like no time at all. The slow pace allows you plenty of time to take advantage of all the little, insignificant luxuries that you are about to sacrifice (well-organised shoe storage, enjoying a glass of wine in the bath without interruption, late nights out in the city, for example).Needless-to-say, it's worth the wait once your adoring little offspring move in. We’ve had a hugely fulfilling first year as a family. The highs include parents’ evenings at school, our Celebratory Hearing in court, thousands of cuddles and adorable high-pitched 'I love yous'. Lows include teeth falling out (gross), tellings-off (usually for bickering, builders’ bottoms, flicking bogeys at Grandma's french windows; that kind of thing), and a few bumps, grazes and tears. I’ve attended at least twenty children's birthday parties, occasions at which one quickly becomes quite the expert, arriving with earplugs, a book, flask of hot coffee and something tasty from M&S to nibble on, much to the envy of the room full of harassed looking mums. Back to the serious stuff, I'm relieved to tell you that we haven't experienced any overt homophobia at all, not from anybody (although one nosey looking mum at school did ask me where my wife was once - I think it might have been a proposition rather than a homophobic assumption!). Actually I was once asked a narrow minded, or rather ill-conceived question by a mum at school (who hadn't spoken to me before) in the form of "Who's the mother figure in your family?" to which I shrugged and replied "Neither of us. We're two fathers" before quickly moving on. If you like what you read here, or if you're just feeling a little nosey, you can join us on our adoption adventure at DaddyandDad.co.uk, or find me on Twitter @jamiebeags.