Gay Foster Parenting

Q. I’m curious about your experience as a gay foster parent. Do you feel it has helped/hindered you in any way?

A.  Of course I’ll never know for sure, but I’m 99% certain that my experience as a gay foster parent is exactly what it would have been as a straight one.  How nice is that, huh?  And by nice I mean that’s the way it should be.  The state’s department of social services has specifically put out the message that they welcome GLBT foster parents and has initiatives to recruit within the population (how fun to see a foster/adoption booth at gay pride this summer!).   If any of the thousands of social workers we’ve interacted with has had a problem with us, we haven’t noticed it and I don’t believe that we’ve suffered any hinderance or discrimination.

Has it helped us? Not really.  As I said, I’m pretty sure we would have ended up right where we are regardless of our sexual orientation.  However, SWs have mentioned to us that they see lesbian homes as a unique resource for children who may not do well in a home with a male, but still are high-needs enough for a 2 parent household.  I could see that, but it just didn’t happen to be our experience so far.

Q. Did bio mom have any reaction/resistance/choice regarding the placement of the kids with a lesbian family?

A. She definitely didn’t have a choice, especially since Sprout was a displacement, though I suppose that if she had a big enough objection, someone would have had to look at it.  As far as reaction or resistance, I’m not sure exactly.  Since we’ve never met or spoken, I have never had an interaction with her allowing me to asses her gay-friendly-ness.  But, there’s never been a word about it from the social worker/attorney/case aid/ect and its particularly difficult to do any masking with a 4-year-old involved (if anyone said anything negative about the other in front of him, it would be relayed. guaranteed).  The truth is, she probably didn’t even know for a while since the information barrier put in place by the state is so strong. 

That being said, I just don’t feel any animosity.  Our relationship, as tenuous and unusual as it is, feels to me like there is a mutual level of respect.  She grants us travel permission and medical authority every time.  She genuinely thanks us for cards and pictures and notes.  She sends word through her social worker that she appreciates what we do.  And when Daisy was born and she was informed that she would be taken into care, she gave the emergency worker our name.

There is probably plenty she doesn’t like about us, but I don’t think our gayness is a big one, if at all.

2 Comments to “Gay Foster Parenting”

  1. That is really good news. I am glad to hear that you have had a positive experience, well, no, that your experience hasn’t been any worse because you are two women.

    As far as that last statement… if you feel comfortable–could that be my question? I am sure she has some pretty aversive/mixed feelings towards you because her children are in your home–but is there more than that?

  2. I suspect at least part of the reason she has so much respect for you is that she can feel you have it for her, as well. That is one of the (many) things I love about reading your blog. You have such a deep level of empathy for her and her situation. Not all foster parents are able to achieve that and it’s something I really admire about you and A.

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