I’ve always wanted children. I’m from a big family, I’m close to my parents, all my siblings and nieces and nephews. I have a great relationship with my partner’s family, as she has with mine.
We considered having children for many years. More often wondering, ‘Wouldn’t it be great to have children?’ than serious discussions. We only really started thinking about it when civil partnerships become a possibility – and then when we were married.
We’d been together for 14 years before then, and finally we could say we were married, or in a civil partnership – rather than just ‘living with a partner.’ We needed security for our children.
With civil partnerships, there was the possibility of adopting jointly. I would not have considered having children without this. It was extremely important that we could adopt jointly. I suppose because of acceptance and security – not within our very long term relationship, but within society in general. We like being married!
We became more confident and talked seriously about adopting. We approached Coram , an adoption charity in London, shortly after our civil partnership and after a few meetings, went through the approval process.
When we met Coram, we knew it was right for us. Our families were initially worried, for different reasons. They worried (as I did for a long time before deciding to adopt) how children would feel having two mums, and the reaction of other parents and children. There was also the worry for the two of us, around adoption itself.
I was also concerned we’d take children needing families from couples who couldn’t have birth children. This was more than a little naive – there are so many children who need families – particularly ‘hard to place’ and older children.
We never seriously considered any other way of having a family – adoption felt right.
We were extremely lucky and adopted our two boys, then aged five and six years, soon after being approved as adopters. Our boys have two parents, two mums. We have two great boys – now aged 10 and 11.
The process of adoption, the stresses and changes, was staggering. Family has been supportive. Friends, too, very much so. I feel even closer to my family since we adopted.
I hope many other gay couples seriously consider adoption. It is a great option – but not easy. Very hard work. It’s worth it. Adoption is a blessing and a joy, most of the time.
Adoption tested a relationship we thought was rock solid, particularly in the first 12 months after suddenly becoming mothers to two young boys. We were lucky to have a firm and strong relationship – we’ve known each other since university days – but it was so hard at times we thought we would never feel like a family.
We couldn’t be more of a family now, I don’t think. The boys have our mannerisms, and we theirs. They’ve grown with us, and through us. I can’t imagine not being a mum now.
Our children’s schools have been great and we’ve had no concerns or problems with other parents. Our boys’ friends either don’t know or don’t care about what or who’s at home.
Our particular circumstances are not an issue, either when living in London, or since moving to Glasgow two years ago. We were a little worried if Glasgow might be accepting – but I’m delighted to say, Glasgow’s not let us down! No bother at all – and plenty of friendly parents.
Our boys still show the effects of their early losses and traumas, and there’s a general lack of understanding and support, I feel, around this for adoptive parents.
But our children are amazing! Hard work and with problems, as many adopted children have – but thriving.
They are “a pleasure and a treasure,” as we always tell them.