This week is the national LGBT adoption and fostering week. In Leeds we have many gay and lesbian adoptive parents and foster carers, with several going through the process at the moment. Some are single and some in couples – but they all want to make a difference in a child’s life, and to be the best parents they can be.
As a special feature, this week we will have 5 short blog posts from one of our gay couples who foster with us, talking about their application process, from finding out about fostering through to the day of their panel. First of all, their first thoughts and fears…
Thinking about it!
“My partner and I have been together nearly four years and are currently fostering a four year old boy on a short term basis. This is our story of going through the fostering process.
“We discussed having children in our lives about a year into our relationship and both decided “yes – at some point”. About a year later I was made redundant, which although unexpected, turned out to be a positive thing. It enabled me to move away with my partner, who was moving jobs as well as counties. It was at this point that we decided rather than going back to my career it was time for a change. After spending years climbing the corporate ladder I decided I’d had enough and wanted to do something I wanted to do, not something I felt I had to.
“My partner works for the NHS with people with cancer and makes a meaningful difference to peoples’ lives every day. I was making decisions that could make or maybe save the company I worked for tens-of-thousands of pounds. It was time to change. I wanted to give something back and make a difference too. The time was right for us to have children in our lives.
“We talked about having our own biological children through surrogacy, adoption or fostering. We decided that fostering was our preferred choice. Maybe not the easiest of the three options but I’ve always liked a challenge. We felt by fostering we would have the opportunity to help more children than adoption. It also meant we would have different experiences with children of different ages and abilities.
“Obviously we thought long and hard about our decision. We weren’t even sure if we could foster as a gay couple. Would we only be able to foster girls even if we could do it? How would any children react to living with two men? How would their friends and family react to such a situation? There were many questions and scenarios we thought of and tried to work through – all without any advice from any professionals.
“Then we heard an advert on the radio for a gay and lesbian open evening run by Leeds City Council about fostering and adoption. Excellent! We could now go and get some proper advice off people who know what they are talking about.”
Tomorrow night is this year’s LGBT adoption and fostering information evening with Leeds City Council. It will be at the Village Hotel, Headingley, from 7 – 9pm. Come and find out more!