Our foster carer Alex tells us about building a family with his fiancé Andrew after they became foster carers to three young boys on the first day of lockdown.
Alex, we haven’t spoken since the first lockdown, thanks for chatting to us again today.
As part of LGBT+ Fostering and Adoption Week, we’re catching up with a few of our LGBT+ carers. The theme this year is ‘Building your family’.
How would you describe the early stages of building your family with Andrew?
For us, it was before the pandemic and we had registered our interest to adopt and had a quick call to talk it over, but after a face to face we decided that it didn’t quite fit with our dynamic, and felt that our natural route to become parents would be to foster. The whole fostering process was open and honest. We attended the Skills to Foster course and really delved into our lives as individuals and our life together during the assessment (which took around 6 months). We reflected on past experiences like when we came out for the first time, as well as looking to the future of what we can expect from children coming into our care.
At first we had set out to look after one child, and then, when we were approached to care for the boys, we ended up moving home to and make sure we did everything we could to keep the boys together. We didn’t want to break up a sibling group.
Did you encounter any barriers along the way?
No, and again it was all very open and honest. I always say that we have a bit of an edge because my parents are foster carers, so we were clued up on what it would involve.
*child makes tapping noise*
Sorry, there’s always something when you’re on the phone, eh?!
I would say that fostering can be an eye opener and it’s a lot more involved than people might think at first, with a professional side of things too- like liaising with doctors and teachers, the usual parenting role.
Tell us about the boys?
To the boys we’re Daddy Alex and Daddy Andrew. Our eldest has become quite the advocate at school, being protective over his Dads (not that anything has ever happened). In fact the school are great and he’s connected with one of his classmates who has same-sex parents too. I know that the boys will grow up raised well and it’s lovely to see different things they’ve picked up from each of us and to see their personalities shine through, they are totally settled.
Do you have any advice for LGBT+ people who are thinking about fostering?
For us we were ready to have kids and were so sure of that decision. For us it’s been like a fairy tale, we can’t see our lives without the boys now and it’s definitely the best decision we’ve ever made.
We became parents on the first day of lockdown, nothing cements it more- if we can do that, then so can anyone! There are ups and downs, but looking back and thinking about how the boys have changed and grown, it’s massive and there are definitely more ups!
Thanks for chatting with us guys.
We have many LGBT+ foster carers across Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington. If you’re LGBT+ and feeling inspired, we’d love to hear from you. Request an info pack today: https://www.foster4.co.uk/enquire/
To find out more about New Family Social, who lead the LGBT+ campaign, visit their website New Family Social – Home