During LGBT Adoption and Fostering Week, Riverside’s Zoe* talks about how her decision to adopt has changed her life for the better.
Adoption was not the first choice for me and my partner when we made the decision to have a family.
We looked into intrauterine insemination (IUI), or artificial insemination as it’s commonly known, using a donor. I was going to carry our baby and had tests to check my fertility.
The good news was there were no problems with my health. But that led to the bad news – because there were no medical concerns we would have to pay almost £3,000 for two attempts at IUI, with no guarantees of success.
Around that time we decided to go along to an adoption information evening, even though I wasn’t really sold on the idea. As we sat in that room I had a real lightbulb moment – there are so many kinds out there looking for loving families, it seemed like the perfect decision for us.
So the wheels were set in motion. We were allocated a social worker and attended a four-day preparation course. There was no judgement or prejudice, they were just desperate to find homes and parents for these children who hadn’t had the best start in life.
Our lives went on as normal for six months until our social worker contacted us to tell us we had been matched with a little boy who we just about to turn one. We were told he had some health and mobility problems, as well as other siblings who had also been adopted.
We were excited and nervous when we went to meet him for the first time. For my partner it was love at first sight, but for me it was the second time we saw him that I knew he was perfect for us.
Once we had started the process, things moved incredibly quickly. With a pregnancy you have nine months to plan and prepare but for us we had just six very short weeks.
When we went to pick him up to take him home, it was a strange feeling. He had been with his foster carer since birth so taking him from her was hard, but it felt like it was just meant to be.
Lots of LGBT couples go down the IUI route, but for us adoption was 100% the right decision. Because neither of us is his birth mother, he belongs to us both equally. He has his Mummy and his Mamma and we have been able to give a good life to a kid who needed a home. Thankfully he has now overcome most of his medical issues and is very bright, agile boy.
So far we have only ever had positive reactions from people when we talk about the adoption and he knows no different. I’m sure, as he grows up, we’ll encounter some problems. He’s got two things that could make him a target for bullies – his two mums and the fact he is adopted – but we’re open and honest with him and hope that, as same sex adoption becomes more commonplace, it’ll be less of an issue for people.
For now he’s a happy, lively little boy who chatters away non-stop and makes us proud every single day.
* Name changed