First of all I just want to say to our lovely real life friends that read this (all 3 of you hehe) that we haven’t told anyone at all about this, not even family. I’m sure that none of you are likely to be discussing it with anyone else but just putting that disclaimer out there that although we’ve been super open about everything else, we’ve got no plans to discuss this with anyone else anytime soon. K thanks! 🙂
Part one: Wednesday 10 March:
Tomorrow we are going to an adoption information session, even though we can’t go through the whole process while we’re doing ivf we are keen to find out more and get the ball rolling in case we do end up going down that route.
I thought I’d jot down some of what I’m thinking both before and after the session and see how they differ!
I guess I want to know more about what kind of checks they go through. I know there is a homestudy involved, but I don’t really know exactly what that is/what they do.
Is the gay thing going to be a problem? As a couple we can’t adopt because we’re not legally married, however there is nothing legally stopping one of us adopting as a single person. Our counsellor at the clinic was very clear that being gay does not outright stopone of us from adopting from a legal standpoint but how open and accepting are the social workers themselves? The person I’ve dealt with so far in getting onto the information database sounded like and older (and old school) person. There are apparently not many people on the waiting list in our region so are we going to stand out like a sore thumb – not necessarily a bad thing to stand out but what if in this case it is? The way I understand it is that the birth mother makes the final decision so really it doesn’t matter what the social workers think, or what the law says: whether we get to adopt or not will always come down to whether the birth mother will choose us over a straight, married couple.
We haven’t asked yet, and I’m not sure if it will come up tomorrow or not, but we are also interested in finding out more about fostering.
Part Two – Thursday 11 March:
Well to be honest I didn’t get too far in my ‘before’ thoughts, I kind of got stuck on the one point! Firstly I’ll say that it was really great only working for 4 hours today, even though it was for this appointment it was nice to leave work for an afternoon together.
I was pretty much a ball of nerves on the way into town. We were both nervous. And it was mostly the gay thing, not knowing what the group would be like, what would be said about it etc.
As it turned out, as soon as we walked in the room the first person I saw was someone I used to work with a few years ago which was a bit weird. We haven’t told anyone about this and I hadn’t considered seeing anyone I know which was stupid because where we live isn’t that big lol.
Although a lot of the information we already knew from our own research, it was good to hear a bit more in depth about some of it. It did seem to focus on inter country adoptions a fair bit, mostly because other couples were interested in it so asked questions, which we can’t do that as a gay couple or single person.
The most annoying thing, and something that I actually found a bit offensive, was that the people directly behind us brought their baby along. Especially when said baby spent the first part of the seminar crying. Loudly. I know there are a lot of reasons for adopting a child and not all of them necessarily relate to infertility so I guess not everyone would consider it insensitive but we did.
In terms of what I was thinking last night – we found out more about the homestudies and what things they do/don’t look for. We also found out more about the process when you actually are chosen by the birth mother and that they don’t actually tell you that until after the baby is born. In NZ there is a 12 day minimum stand down period after the baby is born until the birth mother is legally allowed to sign the consent. Until then, anything can change, and the baby cannot go to the adoptive parents so they don’t actually tell you you’ve been chosen until after the birth.
There are about 34 couple on the waiting list in our region. Profiles from within the region are shown to birth mothers first, then if they don’t like any of those it is widened to nationally. There are not very many adoptions happening here anymore, in fact there have only been 3 so far this year in our region.
We talked to the supervising social worker afterwards, and he confirmed what we already have been told by our clinic counsellor that one of us would be the applicant/adoptive parent and the other would be given guardianship. He did say that no same-sex couples have been picked by birth mothers yet, but that we should still apply and that in fact 2 other same sex couples have recently gone onto the waiting list too. He was very matter of fact about everything, which was great, and it’s good to know that they’ve dealt with other same sex couples so we’re not the only ones. We know, and have known for a while, that our chance of getting picked like this are very slim but you’ve got to be in to win, right? All it takes is the right gay-friendly birth mother to come along, although looks like we’ve got some competition there now 😉
He also talked about permanent caregiving/fostering. Apparently there is a need for guardians for older children who have no chance of going back to their birth families, but who aren’t eligible for adoption for some reason. We have talked about fostering before, but for some reason I thought you couldn’t choose/limit yourself to permanent placements, I thought you had to take your luck and I’m not sure we’re in the right place for transient care financially/emotionally at the moment. That doesn’t seem to be true but that is another post for another day though, and he is going to get us some more information about this.
So yeah, it had been a pretty exhausting afternoon. Thank goodness it only went for just over an hour, not the 2 1/2 advertised – I was feeling overwhelmed 15 minutes in!
There’s a lot to process but plenty of time to do it seeing as this is still a ‘down the road’ option so I’m glad that we went today.
In other news, it makes me happy that when we got the reminder today for Tai’s yearly vaccinations the notice was illustrated with lolc@ts.