“people’s experiences with surrogacy or adoption?”

adoption
Photo by PoPville flickr user Eric P.

“Dear PoPville,

Is there a possibility to do a post on people’s experiences with surrogacy or adoption? We are a gay couple looking into local, international, and private adoption or surrogacy and would love to hear people’s experiences with difference agencies, adoption of younger/older kids, issues with kids coming from homes with abuse or drugs, etc.”

27 Comment

  • I don’t have any experience with this, but Blue Hamilton and Matt Dallas adopted a toddler and talk about the adoption process a bit on their youtube channel. They adopted in their own state. They talk about it here if you’re interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=930D_31vxw8

  • houseintherear

    I’ve heard good things about the Barker Foundation and Adoptions Together. And as an adopted kid I want to tell you how awesome it is and YAY for you both!

  • I come from a family in which adoption and fostering has played a major role, and am preparing to head down the path of adoption as my route to parenthood. There are lots of great resources out there, some of which you may have already found, like the Center for Adoption Support and Education. DC government also offers classes for people considering foster parenting or the foster-to-adopt route every two weeks – schedule at fosterdckids.org. Attending one of those classes might help you get a sense of whether offering your home to a child in need is the right path for you.

  • houseintherear

    I wish you’d chosen not to post this response. But I guess there had to be one person who couldn’t resist.

    • +1. I really hope the poster just has a bad sense of humor and isn’t actually a total a-hole.

    • Why? It’s a perfectly reasonable concern. Due diligence is of the utmost importance in matters such as this.

      • if you feel it’s a legitimate concern, at least you could stated it in a more tactful way.
        .
        fundamentally, though, i wholly disagree with you. if i give birth to a really shitty child, it’s really hard to shove him/her back into my uterus a few years later and say “sorry, i chose incorrectly. time to go back to the store.” where’s the “due diligence” when someone chooses to give birth to and raise a child? it’s an illogical argument. so not only did your comment lack tact, the takeaway is that adoption/fostering is full of “rotten eggs.” don’t propagate that utter bullshit.

  • If you haven’t already, definitely read Dan Savage’s “The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant”!

  • We live in DC and adopted two boys from P.G. County. We took classes and got certified through DC Family Services as a foster family with the intention of adopting these boys, but the adoption actually occurred in P.G. where they resided. The social worker visits while the boys were still part of the system were a little annoying, but overall a good experience. We also allowed the boys to continue contact with their bio-family, since we adopted them when they were older and didn’t want to wreck their existing relationships. We’re strong proponents for adopting locally.

    • Why locally? Like beyond maintaining relationships with bio-families?

      • I would think that maintaining connection with family sounds like reason enough.

        Also, less of a disruption in dislocation or relocation if the adopted children are older. Maybe they have friends they’d like the keep in contact with nearby?

  • You might want to connect with Rainbow Families for resources. They’re holding their family conference on April 30th and it looks like there will be several panels about adoption, etc. I think that in the past they’ve also held ongoing workshops for couples thinking about starting families. Their website is http://www.rainbowfamiliesdc.org.

  • Rainbow Families DC runs an fantastic multi-week program called Maybe Baby that helps answer a lot of questions for gay couples interested in becoming parents. Don’t get turned off by the corny name; the program is very substantive and turned out to be really helpful and a lot of fun. It does a great job tackling adoption in particular, addressing everything from the nitty gritty of the legal aspects to broader questions like how to think about transracial adoption. http://www.rainbowfamiliesdc.org/programs

    • +1 My husband and I attended Maybe Baby and it was a great way to get our footing on how to approach the various options.

  • We live in DC and adopted a baby. We used Barker and would use them again, they were terrific. There were a few gay couples that were in our “group”, they seem to be very gay friendly. Barker offers a lot of support in the way of workshops and non mandatory meetings at different stages of the process even post adoption. They are also a non-profit and it feels like it, I mean that in a good way. They use a pay scale for their services and it doesn’t feel like it’s all about the money.
    As far as our kid goes, she’s the best thing ever!!!!

  • Is surrogacy legal in DC? I know the Council thought about legalizing it but hadn’t heard that bill had passed. Maybe you live in or are willing to move to another state, though.

    We are in the process of adopting through Adoptions Together. They run info sessions but we really knew what we wanted already (to adopt an older child, whose parental rights had been terminated, from foster care) which is good because the info session wasn’t that helpful. The actual classes were much better and most of our class was LGBT. There was an adoption and foster care expo at the Carnegie Library last December that was really helpful–lots of agencies, adoptees, adoptive families all happy to talk about the different options. If they offer it again I’d highly recommend it. FAPAC is a support and advocacy group for people who adopted from DC foster care and they are a good resource.

    One book you might be interested in is “Another Place at the Table” about foster care. But foster care, adopting a waiting child, domestic infant adoption, international adoption (some countries allow it now for same-sex couples) are all good choices for various people–you need to know what you feel you want and can handle. A baby? An older child? Tens of thousands in fees? No fees at all? A child who will definitely stay or one where the goal is to reunite a biological family? Contact with birth family? A child with known special needs? Transracial/transcultural adoption? Knowing what works for you is the first step.

  • We adopted through the Barker Foundation – I highly recommend them. They are professional and not in it for the money (like some of the other agencies outside of the area we encountered).

  • If you’re interested in fostering, hosting or adopting teens, I highly recommend connecting with the DC Family & Youth Initiative (www.dcfyi.org). Fantastic organization and really wonderful kids.

  • For surrogacy info, visit http://www.menhavingbabies.org. Try looking for their Facebook Group as well.

  • My wife and I (we’re both ladies) adopted our son as an infant through Adoptions Together in Calverton, MD. They are very LGBT friendly (more than half of our adoption cohort was made up of gay and lesbian couples). We were very happy with our experience there and would highly recommend them. AT supports open adoptions, so we met our son’s birth mom before the adoption – she actually picked us to be his parents – and we send her photos of him every month. That’s something that we value highly, but the agency might not be the best fit for families interested in a less open adoption process.

  • My wife and I had a child through AI (she’s the birth mother). We’re doing the second-parent adoption (for me to ensure that I have all the legal rights to our kid too) through Zavos Junker LLP. They’re a great law firm for LGBT families. Would highly recommend them. They also work seamlessly with Adoptions Together. Good luck! Parenting is no joke! But also awesome 🙂

  • Happy Earth Day! Great topic. With our planet becoming overpopulated, more and more we should consider adoption as an alternative. My husband and I have been mentoring for almost 3 yrs now, 2 teens (a brother & sister) here in DC and there are good days and bad days with these kids (who were once in a foster home and now back with their mom). We hope to adopt someday but we wonder if we’ll be up for the challenge.

  • Much less formal, but All Souls Unitarian has a lot of families that have been formed by all of the approaches you are thinking of. Many gay couples, foster-adoption, transracial, international families, and also a strong LGBTQ community. I am not aware of any formal groups there but if you are looking for a community in which your child would be one of a crowd. Best of luck to you and your partner!

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