You yearn for more than just the odd weekend with your nephew and niece. OutUK's
Adrian Gillan explores the options, from fostering and adoption to giving a lady
Of course, many gay or bisexual men end up with children through sexual relations
with women, ranging from adolescent fumblings to long-term but ultimately unfulfilling
marriages. Such situations bring their own challenges like handling any potentially
messy separation and coping with how the kids will adapt and dealing with any
new male step-parent who might enter their life.
But what to do if you're gay, haven't got a woman pregnant yet, adore children and
want to have some to look after yourself - whether as a single gay male parent or
within a steady gay male relationship? What are the options? What are the ethical,
practical and legal issues?
Firstly, the landscape is fast moving, and - for now at least - the winds of change
blow in your favour. It's far from easy even now, but if you are determined enough,
the odds are narrowing. However, along the way you'll have to deal with numerous
soul-searching questions, not to mention your fair share of prejudice from society,
and quite possibly your closest friends.
Why do you want a child? Would it be the best thing for the young one? Can you offer
them the security and love they will need? Will you be able to guide them through
the prejudices they may themselves face with school and friends? How much access
to and responsibility for your child do you want? Can this be assured? Is it
important to be the biological father, or would you rather foster or adopt?
Many are the same questions for any couple planning on starting a family, but the
spotlight of controversy is more glaring if you are gay. You can get good advice
from organisations and individuals who have already been through the journey you
are considering. They can listen and discuss both the pros and the cons of various
options open to you.
Much of the gay literature is written from the lesbian perspective, but I here try
to explore things from the point of view of a gay man. Your own experiences are
going to be unique to you, since there are so many permutations of possible outcomes,
depending on the methods employed, the individuals and institutions encountered
along the way and how you get on with Lady Luck. You are still a pioneer.
It is stressed by most at the outset that there are no guarantees for any of the
avenues available. You may expend years, large sums of money and considerable emotional
energy on something that never delivers the result you so long for. But those who
want it badly enough, even those that are unlucky, say it is a risk they had to take.
So what are the options if you decide you want to become a gay dad?
Fostering & Adoption