A different approach to adoption heads to Manchester Pride
A new adoption service – run in partnership by the two ‘Outstanding’ rated adoption agencies Caritas Care and Adoption Matters – will attend this year’s Manchester Pride on 25 to 26 August. The service is at the forefront of new routes into adoption combining adoption and fostering to give children the best start in life. The service has approved over 75 families in the last four years and placed 81 children for adoption, 64 per cent under the age of six weeks old.
The largest of its kind in the country, this exciting, creative and innovative service minimises disruption and unnecessary moves for very young children.
Angela Chapman, Service Manager commented: ‘Both agencies are proud members of New Family Social, we know from experience that LGBTQ people often come to adoption with an open mind and real enthusiasm – it’s often their first choice for growing their family.
‘You can be single, over the age of 45, and you don’t need to own your own home to consider adoption via concurrent planning. We need people with stability, love and resourcefulness who can who can help a child with whatever needs they may have.’
Vince – a 35-year-old single gay man – started his concurrent planning journey last year and shares his story here:
‘Just over fifty years ago, I would have been arrested in the UK for promoting the fact I was a gay male. Back then, it was inconceivable to think that gay people had the right to love, cohabit or even publicly show affection to anyone of the same sex.
‘Can you even begin to imagine the consequences of same sex couples or single gay people being given the right to care for or adopt children who needed the two fundamental needs of all human being: to be loved, and cared for? It was a reality far from anyone’s mind at that time.
‘Fast forward to present day and it’s evident to see the opportunities open to the LBGTQ+ community when it comes to practising the desire of most human beings on this planet, to be a carer or potential parent to a child who needs stability and love. It is thanks to many people before my time who fought for the right of equality that allows me, a 35-year-old single gay male, to currently care for an amazing baby boy.
‘I wasn’t raised to believe things are not possible. In fact, I was always told that anything is possible as long as you reach hard enough through barriers to grab it. It was always my belief that I was put on this earth to be a parent; I just chose to go that one step further and concurrently care for a child in the hope that would lead onto me becoming a parent.
‘I started to really think about it seriously when I started to change my lifestyle about two years ago now in preparation for the changes ahead. That’s when I gave up my ‘posh’ apartment and sports car so that I could get something a little bit more sensible!
‘I made the decision to embark on the concurrent planning journey with the knowledge that, even if adoption is not the final outcome, I have provided love, support and stability to a little human being for as long as they are with me. I am proud to be a single gay male concurrent carer, and it is a path that I champion.
‘I know there are more straight-forward routes out there but for me, it was more important to give a child a home, regardless of the outcome. There are tonnes of kids out there, so I didn’t see the point of going down the surrogacy route when I could give my time to kids who were already born but just didn’t have a home of their own.
‘Don’t get me wrong; it’s been a mixture of high and lows. The highs are the fact that I have the little one now and I’ve kind of forgotten about some of the lows. I did find the panel a bit daunting; this is where they make the decision as to whether you’re suitable to foster a child. This process is there for a good reason though and the outcome for me, the children involved, and many others is absolutely life changing.
‘As a guy doing this on my own, I go to different parenting groups every day and am usually the only male among many breastfeeding women, so that’s interesting!
‘I’ve had a few debates over that fact that he will never have a permanent ‘Mum’ in his life if I adopt him as a gay man. Some agree with that, others don’t but it’s an argument that I’m willing to have with anyone.
‘It can be tough, cathartic and incredibly emotional but it’s also an experience that is full of support, laughter and reward. Never let who you are stop you from being what you want to be. I am so proud to be part of a movement that is breaking down walls and fulfilling dreams of being concurrent carer/s or adoptive parent/s into reality. It’s a journey I have loved and continue to do so.’
Come along to the fun filled weekend and look out for the Concurrent Planning Team in the Expo for a chat about this innovative route to adoption.