Gay Parenting Voices previously profiled Nicholas and Paul. The gay couple in the Northeast were finalizing the adoption of a toddler boy. They'd welcomed him into their home as "foster-to-adopt" parents. Life was hectic, but good.
It's gotten even more hectic – and even better – since then.
Another boy has joined their family. He's the biological brother of the older child, via the birth mother.
The process was easier the second time around, Nicholas says. Because they had relationships with both their case worker and the youngsters' mother, there were fewer questions to ask or challenges to overcome. In fact, the couple even went to the hospital to pick up the second infant after he was born. His older brother had been brought to their house by adoption officials.
Both times, he notes, the birth mother requested one visit with her child, after giving birth. That was the only contact Nicholas and Paul had with her. After both visits, she terminated her rights to her boys.
"She's a lost, troubled soul," Nicholas says. But they are grateful to her for the opportunity she has provided to them to be parents.
The second time around, he notes, "felt better. It was more positive. We were less uncertain."
Because they had been through the process already – and had bonded with the case worker – they understood more about what was happening, and what to expect.
The couple feels grateful that theirs was the first family that their two sons were placed with. Sometimes, children are moved from home to home.
Nicholas and Paul know too that they are lucky. The number of babies in "foster to adopt" homes has declined in recent years.
What have they learned throughout their two adoption processes? "It's very emotional," Nicholas says. "You need a very thick skin. You have to be strong, for your child and yourself."
At every step of the way, he says, "you have to give your all to your child. You love and treat them like your own."
What are some tips for the Foster-to-Adopt process?
More practically, he adds, "you have to stay on top of your case worker. They can have up to 15 children to deal with at a time. That's a lot. But you have to look out for your child."
So what's ahead? Thirteen months after delivering their second son, the boys' mother gave birth to a little girl. Nicholas and Paul considered bringing her into their family. But their children were 2 ½ and 1, and fighting for their fathers' attention. The parents felt that adding another child – even their boys' biological sister – would be unfair.
"It's okay to say ‘no,’" Nicholas notes.
Yet that does not mean they will not adopt again.
It's one more part of the adoption process they'll think about. And if they do go through with it, they'll have even more experience to pass on to other prospective parents.
National Adoption Resources
The Dave Thomas Foundation
Large list of general adoption resources including adoption organizations, support information, and legal information.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway
A downloadable factsheet of FAQs from LGBTQ prospective parents
Gay Parent Magazine
Adoption resources, including several based in Connecticut and New York
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Dan Woog is a writer, educator and LGBT activist. He has written 17 books. Subjects include LGBT issues in gay education and the workplace, gay male athletes, and the importance of straight allies. He is also a co-founder of OutSpoken, Fairfield County’s support group for LGBT youth.