How old was your “fantasy child”?
These are extracts from a recent conversation on our message board:
We have never, ever pictured ourselves with a tiny baby, or babies, which is one of the many reasons why the idea of donor insemination never really felt right for us. We’re not opposed to the idea of teeny babies but prefer slightly older children. When thinking about or discussing “our future kids” as I’m sure we all do from time to time, we have imagined two children, a boy and a girl, aged between 18 months and three years old. Sometimes I go off into a little fantasy world and they even have names (slightly unusual ones, often inspired by CWW or BMP), faces, hairstyles and clothes, likes and dislikes, personalities… [rolls eyes at self]
In general, though, I would say that a sibling pair consisting of a young toddler and a pre-schooler would probably be our “ideal”. This is just based on my experience of children of that age, and my own experience of growing up with a sister who was younger than me (with what I believe was a good age gap). I am sure we wouldn’t pass up the chance to adopt a young baby if it presented itself to us, though we do really want to adopt two siblings, and I very rarely hear of young babies being placed with an older sibling, for some reason. We’re going into this all with an open mind, though, despite our wonderings. Our ideas have changed over the past three years since we made our initial enquiry, as we’ve learnt more and more about adoption and the types of children needing to be adopted. So many people have said that they just knew when they found their kids, and a lot of them were surprised, because they didn’t think they’d end up with what they did end up with… so our “ideal” may end up being far from the reality, and that’s okay too.
I think a lot of gay people arrive at adoption from a different place, compared to heterosexual couples. As a gay male couple we never went through the heartache of infertility or any of the other issues that straight couples might face before arriving at adoption. I think a lot of straight women (and probably men) want to have the whole baby experience. For us adoption was the first choice and having a baby was never a real consideration. We always wanted a couple of kids around 3 or 4. Maybe this was influenced, in some way, by our knowledge of the care system and the fact that there tends to be a lot more older kids to be placed? Aiming to be placed with a baby was never part of our ideal, though at no point have we been put off of it being a possibility. I’m sure if we wanted we could have aimed in that direction – though who knows what kind of wait we would have? I’m getting impatient already; we were only approved in July!
Our children are still a fantasy. We both said that when we think of future children, we see girls, toddler to about four. I can’t tell you why, it just feels right. My sister has adopted and wanted a baby, but I suspect she was in lieu of the birth child they weren’t able to have. For us, a birth child was never in the picture, so it seems ‘right’ to go for slightly older – nappies and formula hold no appeal. The VA who is talking to us about adoption are trying to encourage us to consider older children and to consider boys. This is fine with us too.
We are right at the start of this whole thing so we are keeping very open minded but we have already been told that because of our ages we would be unlikely to be matched with older children. I have worked with tiny new-borns as part of my job and now work with 2-3 year olds so I don’t think I’ll feel that I’ve missed out on anything if we don’t get matched with a baby. I do really like the idea of being at home all day with a child so I would in an ideal situation hope for a child under 4. To be honest I had never expected a baby either and a baby has never been in the picture. The more I am learning about the adoption and more specifically hearing stories from other gay adopters the picture I have had in my head is changing. We have thought about sibling groups and I would love 2 children, however I just don’t think it would work out financially unfortunately. We couldn’t afford for me not to go back to work after adoption pay stops but also couldn’t afford child care costs for two children when I do. Although I do know that there can be a lot of financial support for adopters in some cases so it might depend on that.