Cancelled!

After an internal review of the Aboriginal Adoption Online training, the Executive Director has decided to cancel the September 14, 2015 session, in order to update the curriculum to provide the most up to date and relevant training experience for participants. Once a new date has been determined for the training we will be in touch with you to inform you of the new date.

— excerpt from an email from the programs coordinator at Indigenous Perspectives Society.

I am bummed. Not heart-broken, because this is an optional course and we have a ton of other things going on in our lives right now, but I am certainly bummed. I haven’t contacted our social worker yet to find out what this means in terms of our wanting to be considered to adopt First Nations / Métis children, but from where I am sitting it seems as if we don’t have any options that would make us eligible. The course that was cancelled is the only way.

Hopefully they’ll come up with a replacement in the next few months?

*sigh*

In other news, the husband and I have decided to attend an information session called “LGBTQ: Your Path To Parenthood” which is being put on by Acubalance Wellness Centre and Olive Fertility Clinic. We’ve shut the door on surrogacy right now, but that doesn’t mean that we should stop learning about our options! It’s a free session, and it will also help us get to know other queer families. Which we need to do, because most of our friends with children have relatively traditional family compositions. 🙂

Step 2

I know, it’s been a while.  I don’t really want this blog to turn into a blog about everything in my life, though, and the baby-making process has been in a holding pattern, so I haven’t had a lot to say.  Which isn’t to say that I haven’t been thinking about this stuff a lot, because I have.  I just don’t really know what to say.

We are going to our information session with the Adoptive Families Association of BC next week, which is step 2 in the 16 step timeline that they’ve sent us.  If this is the way we end up going, this is what it will look like:

  1. Contact Adoptive Families Association of BC  (done!)
  2. Attend an information session (next week)
  3. Application to adopt submitted, file opened
  4. Intake appointment
  5. Register for Adoption Education Program
  6. Attend Adoption Education Program
  7. Training completed
  8. Homestudy commences
  9. Homestudy completed/matching begins
  10. Possible match is found
  11. Proposal package
  12. Pre-placement planning
  13. Pre-placement visits
  14. Placement
  15. Residency period (6-12 months)
  16. Adoption finalized

Phew.  It seems like such a long list of things to do, especially considering that step 3 involves filling out 7 different forms, including the incredibly heartbreaking Adoption Questionnaire, which is a giant list of all the special needs and risk factors that could be affecting the potential children we could be matched with.  We’ll have to decide if we’re okay with adopting a child conceived as a result of incest, for example, or with spina bifida, or autism.

It’s so heavy.  And hard.  I mean… if we were conceiving this child ourselves, we’d just deal with whatever cards we were dealt — but to choose a child with a particular special need?  Or, more significantly, not to choose a child because of a special need or risk factor?  How does one reconcile this sort of thing in their heart?  How do you not feel guilty saying yes to one child, and no to another?

And while we think about all of this, we also have to think about whether or not adoption is the right path for us–maybe surrogacy would be better?

If I had to decide right now, with no input from my husband, I would go with adoption.  A few months ago, I would have said surrogacy.  I am not sure when the change happened in me, but I am starting to believe that giving a home to a child that is already born would be better for us, and better for the child.

We’ll see where we are in a few months.

The Beginning

My name is Matthew, and I am 35 years old.  I am a gay man, and I am engaged to be married to my amazing fiancé.  I live in a major Canadian urban centre, work full time in the emergency services field (and part time as a birth and postpartum doula), and my fiancé and I live in a beautiful home in a lovely neighbourhood with our adorable cat.

I have always wanted children.  And so has my man.  And so, we decided we are going to have at least one, but hopefully two.

The question is, as it always has been: how?

We have a few options:

  • surrogacy (traditional or gestational)
  • adoption of a child in foster care
  • domestic private adoption
  • international adoption

I have spent the last year of my life doing incredible amounts of research on the law, logistics, costs, timelines, and complications of all of these things.  I have made spreadsheets, read blogs, joined support groups, compiled statistics, talked endlessly with my fiancé about our thoughts and feelings about all of this, and it has brought us to this point:

We are either going to do surrogacy or adoption.  *eye roll*

It’s so hard, either way.  And expensive.  And did I mention difficult?  If we go with adoption, we have to spend a lot of money and then cross our fingers that a birth parent will pick us out of the pile of other potential parents for their unborn child.  It could happen in days, or take years.  But it’s more likely to take years.  Years.

And if we go with surrogacy, we can be more involved in the process, but it’s also expensive, and we have to find someone willing to donate their eggs to us, and then someone who is willing to donate their womb to us and be pregnant and deliver a baby and then hand it over to us?  And did I mention that it may involve more than one IVF cycle?  In fact, it is likely to?

We are not wealthy.  We are comfortable, and do not live in poverty, but we do not have $60,000 laying around.  Which is roughly what we have been told to save up for surrogacy or domestic adoption, either way.

This, my friends, is where we are starting from.  It does not feel exactly like a position of strength, but it is what we have been given.  We have many blessings–steady employment, good housing, good health, loving and supportive friends and family, our faith–and if we can focus on those blessings, and support each other, we will get through this and find our way to parenthood.