Same-sex couple explain their ‘amazing journey’ to adoption and it will melt your heart
A same-sex couple has revealed the “amazing journey” to adopting twins.
Martin and David spoke of the emotional process which led to them becoming fathers for the first time, sharing their story to mark LGBT+ fostering and adoption week.
“We became parents because we wanted to become dads, that was the most important thing,” Martin said.
“But I do think I am quite proud of also being a same-sex parent. If you had said to the 16-year-old me that one day I would get married and become a father, I would never have believed it.”
The couple, who live in south west London, adopted twins with the help of Barnardo’s UK. They were referred to the charity’s adoption and fostering service in 2017.
David and Martin had long known they wanted to become parents. (Barnardo’s)
David said: “In the beginning it felt very overwhelming and there were a lot of forms to complete, but the support workers guide you through it and Barnardo’s provides three days of training where you get to meet other adoptive parents which is really useful and reassuring.
“The adoption process is intense, but you have to take it one day at a time.
The couple first saw photos of their twin boys, who were three years old at the time, in January 2018, and met them for the first time at their nursery shortly afterwards.
That was the moment we realised that this was our new family.
The couple finalised the adoption in June 2018.
Martin said: “In the first few weeks it was emotionally difficult for the twins as they were so young when they came to us, and didn’t really understand what was happening.
“There were a lot of tears as obviously they really missed their foster carer, but now they are older, it’s been a lot better and they are a lot more settled.
“They are really attached to us and realise that the person who they were staying with was almost like a ‘temporary parent’, someone who was there to keep them safe but not their permanent parent.
“The foster carer is still part of their lives and they have been able to visit her and her partner, but they no longer miss them when they say goodbye.”
The boys, now five, have now become “lively and outgoing” and love playing in their local park.
Martin continued: “We do all the same things that any other family does together and we have never experienced any negative words or comments from other people as same-sex parents.”
“Society has changed so much in recent years and I see it with the children at school. Attitudes towards same-sex parents are so much more advanced compared to when I was at school thirty years ago.
“It’s amazing to see the transformation and I think it’s great that Barnardo’s are able to help other same-sex couples realise their dreams of becoming parents.”
Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan, said: “At Barnardo’s we find loving families for vulnerable children in communities across the UK, and we give foster carers and adopters the training and support they need… I would urge anyone from the LGBT+ community who is considering becoming a foster carer or adopter to get in touch to find out more.
“Incredible things happen when you believe in children.”
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LGBT+ fostering and adoption week is organised by New Family Social, the only national LGBT+ adoption and fostering charity in the UK.
It runs from March 2 to March 8 and aims to bust common LGBT+ adoption and fostering myths, for example the wrongly-held ideas that living with HIV, being non-binary or having prior experience of mental health issues could make LGBT+ couples ineligible.
This year, LGBT+ fostering and adoption week comes at a poignant time, as last week the US Supreme Court announced it will hear a parenting case which will decide whether states can deny taxpayer funding to adoption and foster agencies that discriminate against same-sex couples.
The case was brought by Catholic Social Services, a Philadelphia-based care agency, which insists it is entitled to receive taxpayer funding despite banning same-sex parents from fostering children.
Activists are fearful that the case has the potential for devastating consequences for LGBT+ rights – as a ruling in favour of the foster agency could strike down a patchwork of state laws protecting LGBT+ couples seeking to adopt.