Friday, September 28, 2007

They Live-Scan

Yesterday we went to the Hall of Justice to get our fingerprints taken. It's one of the requirements for the home study. They'll see if we have any criminal records and send the information to the agency. This is not your old timey ink-pad and carbon copy fingerprinting. Nowadays it's done on a glass plate with a scanner and the computer can fill in the blanks if you don't press it just right.

a tender moment

It was strange sitting in an area meant for people waiting to get thrown in the slammer. Our technician was kind of quiet and gruff doing the fingerprinting but after he finished with us, he quietly said, "good luck"...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Orientations are not just for Orientals

A great way to get introduced to the adoption procedure is to find an agency and attend their orientation. We ended up going to 5 different orientations. Here are my observations:

The first thing I noticed was, man, a lot of white people want to adopt! I should say Caucasians. It must be cultural because San Francisco has a wide variety of all races. It would seem like the orientation would be a cross section of everyone in this area. But as it turns out... not so! No big deal, just an observation.

Sample orientation makeup

The second thing I noticed was everyone looked nervous just like we did! That was a relief. hearing other people's questions was a great learning experience for us. We also got to hear about many different situations that led people to choose adoption.

Finally, at almost every orientation, there was at least one other gay or lesbian couple. As with marriage, parenting is a hotly contested arena for our community. As if reservations about my own ability to raise a child weren't enough, there is this whole other undercurrent of judgment by some people thinking we shouldn't be trying to be parents. Well, I just don't see how two people who want to offer a child a stable, loving life can be bad when compared to the situation they might be in if no one wanted to adopt them. So to all you Negative Nancy's out there:

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do What Now?

Right now we're in the "Deciding Which Agency To Use" phase. But let me backtrack... Before we even decided to do Domestic Open Adoption, we had to figure out which way of getting a little tyke was best for us.

My first inkling was to look into Surrogacy. Now, since I have not sired any children in any of my previous relationships (ladies, you lost your chance in high school), surrogacy seemed to be a good way to have a child that is biologically mine... Until we saw the cost. It can go upwards of $120 K, and that's if everything goes well. More importantly, after doing the research, we realized the kid doesn't need to be created by one of us. There are plenty of children out there who need good homes and if we can provide a stable, loving one, then we will.

Next up was Foster Care. We went to an informal meeting with AdoptionSF and they told us all about the process of fostering a child. This particular agency does what is called Fost-Adopt which just means the child you are placed with is one that has a low chance of being reunited with their biological parent(s) so eventually the hope is he or she will be adopted by you. We like the idea of doing this but since we will be brand spanking new parents, we're not sure we'll be able to handle the special needs of the kid we'd foster. Maybe one day we can do this.

Then we considered International Adoption but that is probably the trickiest of all our options. As of now, it seems like only Vietnam and Estonia allow single men to adopt from their countries. Also, one of us would have to apply for it as a single parent while the other one would have to pretend to just be my roomate. Kind of like the popular CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men" starring Charlie Sheen as a well-to-do bachelor who has his tightly wound brother Jon Cryer and his son come stay with him. In this scenario, I would be Jon Cryer and David would be Charlie Sheen. The only difference is we don't have a rotating door (a lazy susan if you will) of witty characters dropping by every 5 minutes.

Finally, we looked at Domestic Open Adoption. Open adoption means pregnant mothers choose who to place their child with. There is no secrecy involved. All the adults involved know who everyone is, and the child will also know who their biological mother is. Sounds good to us! To me it just seems like there will be fewer unanswered questions as the kid gets older. If he/she starts to wonder who their mom is, and why she chose adoption, we can just call her up!So it looks like we're going to do Domestic Open Adoption. There are several adoption agencies in the bay area so it was difficult to choose. we just made a pro/con list and picked the one that had the best vibe for us. Also, not all agencies are open to "other" sexual orientations so that helped narrow down the list. We're going with Adoption Connection because they are in the city and we like their staff. Spunky ladies with a lot of knowledge!

Monday, September 24, 2007

This is What's Up


David and I have decided to start the adoption process. What?! Does this mean we're adults? I wanted to document the process somehow and figured this was as good a way to do it as any. Since we'll be two dads in a world full of mom/dad combos, there will undoubtedly be some obstacles to overcome. My goal for this blog is to show all the ups and downs no matter how painful or joyous. Maybe it will be interesting reading for some, maybe it will be more like "Bulgy The Bore", but really it will be for us to remember what we went through when we decided to start our family.