I went to several informational meetings in my area for people who were considering adoption. After conversations with family members and close friends, I decided to call the agency’s social worker, named Sherry. Over and over in my mind, I practiced my strong points and rationale for wanting a child. It would be important to make a good impression in that first phone conversation.
After introducing myself and reason for calling, Sherry asked the usual questions: why was I interested in adoption, what was my marital status (single), my age(30) and what did I do for a living (clergy). I confidently answered each and every question. Then she asked if I was gay….and my heart stopped…….a long, long pause. I was hoping to get to a face- to- face meeting before I had to talk about any sexuality issues.
A hundred things ran thru my mind as I debated on how to answer the question. Should I give the truth or lie? I finally said, “I am not sure.” She asked me about my doubts. I went on to explain that I always had plenty of good friends, male and female, a good relationship with my dad and mom, but I found myself more naturally drawn to certain women. I had not really dated and my sexual experience was limited. Because of the attraction to certain women, I wondered if I might be gay, but I had not had enough opportunity to experiment. Considering my profession, experimentation was not an option. I was aware of the attraction to some women, but I wasn’t ready to confirm or accept a gay orientation.
Sherry listened, did not judge, and indicated that we would talk more about this subject in a face to face meeting. She also said, “since you have told me the truth, I will continue to work with you. If I suspect that you are lying to me at any point, the process will end immediately.”
Looking back, I consider myself very fortunate to have worked with this open minded social worker. It now seems almost miraculous considering the very rural location and times. While it has been 23 years, I am still thankful to Sherry for giving me a chance to become a mother and changing my life forever with the gift of a child.
More reading: Gay Adoption Basics: http://adoption.about.com/od/gaylesbian/a/gayadopt.htm
Gay and Lesbian parenting sites: http://adoption.about.com/od/gaylesbian/a/glresources.htm
Tips for potential adoptive parents: tell the truth, focus your answers and don’t ramble!
A major key to adoption is choosing a compatible adoption agency. Research carefully the agency’s philosophy, their requirements, their fees. Regulations vary from state to state and agency to agency. If you are not a heterosexual married couple in your twenties, thirties or forties, look for a nontraditional agency.
Because I was single, I chose a nontraditional agency based in the state I was living. dr pers © 2007
Other posts in this series:
next in series: “Surviving an Adoption Home Study.”