Lovely story. Brightened my day. As a mother of 3 adopted children this type of story always makes me smile. Good for you “Paul”. Good luck to you and your daughter. :0)
My ex-wife left when our biological daughter was aged 3 or 4. Thankfully, she remained with me. I elected my personal life thereafter was to be a happier, more ‘me’ one – as gay/bi. So my girl was raised by a gay dad so to say. Now a 24yo adult she’s (straight) successful, happy and inspirational to those around her. Being a parent is never less than eventful! Bottom line: I adore her and the truth is – they’re all we get to leave behind; nothing else. All else falls away.
“they’re all we get to leave behind; nothing else. All else falls away.”
What an appallingly disrespectful attitude to childless people – which includes the majority of the LGBT population.
What percentage of LGBT people have children?
Quite. Childless individuals such as Leonardo da Vinci and Jane Austen never left anything substantial behind, after all.
But the majority of people are not genius’ like da Vinci or Austen.
And most children grow up to be bland nobodies.
And we know Da Vinci and Austen were.
And neither are their children. The point is that there are many ways to leave a legacy – including nurturing and educating children who happen not to be your own. And there is the little problem in today’s world of its having babies coming out of its ears.
From Stephen B: I remember you and the commitment you made. A dedicated father and a great person. Sorry we lost touch. But I’m surprised at your last comment, though remembering you I am sure you didn’t mean it to sound so blunt…of course childless folk have lots to “leave behind”…at the last count I have twelve black British history books (and more to come)…not quite the same as fourteen children (smile)…but a legacy I am very proud of…I hope you are well & happy! x
Very inspiring and something I could never do!
I have adopted a young boy. It is a lot of hard work. More than we realised. The trauma to a child of being taken away from their parent or parents for reasons that they do not understand, moved to foster parents and removed from them again for reasons that they do not understand make them wary of adults.
It took our son a long time for them to look to us as people who could help protect him. He would behave appallingly badly to try to prove to himself that we would send him away, which would confirm to him that we did not love him. It was a way of him trying to protect himself pre-emptively from yet another rejection and emotional heartache. A reason not to let down his guard.
Two years later, however, it is extremely rewarding to look at him developing in his speech, writing and behaviour. He now speaks both English and French at age six. We also hope that we will be able to give him opportunities that might otherwise never have been available to him.
I normally think you have silly christian, right wing beliefs (and you do), but that’s a lovely story, and I hope everything continues to go great for your family.
thanks for sharing, de Villiers..
Thanks so much for this article. I am single and just applied to my local authority, after months of procrastination. Its inspiring to read a single LGBT persons perspective.
Sorry, I’ll probably get hammered for this, but I still think a Mother and Father are the best options for adopting here. I’m very unsure about two Mothers or Fathers here as I think having one of each does have a distinctly different effect on the bringing up of a child, but that’s not to say same-sex couples couldn’t do a very good job at it.
However, much that I know many kids are brought up by a single parent, be they straight or gay, it really is not a good environment as having two parents, for many reasons including the sheer amount of time, effort and attention required to financial support and even such matters as the social stigma of being a one parent family. A typical scenario would be if one parent got a bad cold or flu and was laid up in bed, the other can look after the child, but when one is on their own, they haven’t got a partner to fall back on….
I am sure there are plenty of single people that desperately want children for many reasons, and there are many situations where someone ends up being forced to bring up one or more children alone, but that is really not ideal and should be seen as a matter of a last option rather than the norm. We are all thrust into life choices not of our making and have to do the best with what we have, but this is not one of them. If you want children, you need to be in a stable relationship, it’s as simple as that. Nobody has the right to have children – the only rights involved are that of the child,and that means they should be supported in the best possible environment where they have 24/7 support, care, security, love, education, attention, and dare I say it money, to get the best. If one cannot provide all those things, then sorry, don’t have kids.
Living in the past… and shocking crud. Not to generalise too much (I think I have though!), but of the same-sex couples I know who are raising children (not adopted though), they are doing a very good job, ie, their children are happy and doing well in school, etc. I don’t think it matters to the child the gender of the ‘mum-dad’ figure, it seems to be other peoples intolerance towards the same sex couples that makes life a little bit more awkward – both gay and straight peoples attitudes – of which you highlight quite well. I certainly would never judge same-sex parents in the way that you have…
My main argument was not the same-sex thing so much as the single parent issue.
The ultimate argument here is that the child(ren) must come first, and any problems that the parents encounter are naturally going to impinge on their welfare; so if the parents get crap for being gay, then that may affect the child. The same applies to being a single parent. Being gay and single just compounds the problem.
There is a national shortage of adopters and higher usual amount of children waiting to be adopted. The most important thing is that children get placed in a loving home. Gay – str8 – 2 parents – single parent – if you can offer a child a stable and loving future then that has to be a good thing. I agree – children should come first – which is why adoption (for some children) is the best option. The world isn’t perfect and parents (adoptive or biological) aren’t perfect but the chance of a happy childhood for a child has to be worth it no matter who cares for that child. If you have love to give – then give it. Just my opinion (biased I grant you). I’m in no way criticising you though – just giving my take on the subject.
Two or more heads are generally better than one, you are quite right;
but the mantra that a straight couple do it better than anybody is just a shibboleth with no empirical evidence to support it, no matter how strongly you believe in it. Children generally do very well in any stable and loving environment, pretty much whoever provides it. It would actually be astonishing if it were otherwise for a highly successful and adaptable social animal.
I don’t think there is any problem with a same sex partnership bringing up a child, but I do think much of society has a problem with it. I can just imagine a straight kid with two Dads having to put up with “That’s so GAY!” etc. etc. from all the other malicious little bastards out there.
Whatever people say, it will be tough on the kid, and really shouldn’t have to happen, (through no fault of the parents), which is why I would ultimately say no.
This is a little like arguing that ethnic minority parents shouldn’t have children because the latter are likely to face racism. Racism, or, for that matter, prejudice against same-sex couples or gay individuals parenting, cannot be effectively challenged unless people in general actually see around them examples of OK people and situations that contradict the myths they have learned (sadly most people are concrete and not abstract thinkers). It’s a bit like closetry – the silence and invisibility of lgbt people means that demonizing myths about us become unquestioned ‘reality’.
My 13 year old daughter recently “outted” her family set up in the middle of a Science lesson. She came home with a huge smile on her face because she was told by her peers that our family “was cool” and shes had not one bad comment from anyone at the time or since. She once had a negative comment from a school friend when they were aged 8 and promptly told her friend she wasn’t prepared to talk to her until she stopped “being mental”. She isn’t phased at being adopted and sometimes tells people “my mum chose me, your mum was just given you” and will happily tell people her mum is gay. There’s a way of making a point without saying a word – let the general public see us raising healthly, happy children who were loved and wanted from the get-go and let our actions speak louder than words.
I hate to say it, but you are right. If a black couple are facing racial hatred problems, then they need to resolve it before having children; in much the same if one is an alcoholic or a drugs user- the parents problems will inevitably be transferred to the children, and that is totally unacceptable.
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Many thanks for the great comments from people who recognise that single gay men and lesbians can raise and love children equally well, if not better than lots of couples. Stability, security, love and affection are for me the building blocks of good family life regardless of the sexuality of parents and what adopted children desperately need. What I didn’t get to mention was just how many children over the age of 3 stay in the care system as there are too few adopters willing to consider children they think are ‘too old’. So, I really hope that my positive outlook on the adoption process encourages more adopters to come forward – especially single adopters who have so much to give, too.