Some Gay New Fathers *

Following on writing recently “In Praise of Family”, I’d like to draw to your attention a profile piece in today’s Observer. Here in the UK, we are fortunate that the law prohibits discrimination against same sex couples or individuals in the adoption process, so all are equally free to apply.

Gay Couple with child

Image via Wikipedia

More and more children are being adopted by same-sex couples. In the past two years the number of gay men approved to adopt has doubled. Here we listen to some of their stories.

And that is that – just the stories, as told by the new parents ( and one couple still going through the approval and matching process.) The article makes no attempt to analyse or comment on the stories, but a few things stand out for me.  First, is that although all are equally welcome to apply, many of the couples describe some remaining opposition inside the process, so that gay male applicants are accepted, but go to the back of the queue.  The result is that frequently they end up with the children nobody else wants, especially older children or pairs of siblings.  The wariness however does not extend to the children themselves, who take in their stride, nor to their friends.  Young children, as any parent knows, are extremely adaptable .  In the modern world they know that not all families are alike, and are not bothered by any difference.  Nor is the wariness shared by the children’s schools.   Two of the couples note that they are not the only same sex couples at their children’s schools, one says that they are.  This doesn’t seem to make any difference:  all the fathers report on good support from the schools, with one being voted on the board of governors.

None of this should be newsworthy – children have parents, sometimes not their biological parents, and parents get involved with the children’s schools.  For now, same sex parents are unusual and so get into the news.  But the more every school finds itself hosting these children, and as the passage of time shows that the children with two fathers do as well as those with two opposite gender parents, so will they attract less attention as news items – exactly as it should be.

Read the full profiles at “The Rise of the Gay Dad”,

Further reading:

Celebrating Family

Children’s Charity wants MORE Gay Parents

Garner, Abigail: “Families Like Mine”

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